Pat was born in Scotland in 1965 and grew up in Glasgow as the youngest of seven children.
His, parents came to Scotland from Ireland in the 1950s. His father worked as a labourer and his mother in a local authority children’s home.
Pat was educated at HolyroodSecondary School in the south side of Glasgow and studied politics at EdinburghUniversity.
He worked as a researcher for Donald Dewar MP, a speechwriter for John Smith MP and an adviser to Tony Blair, both in opposition and later in 10 Downing St .
In 2005 he was elected as MP for Wolverhampton South East, pledging in his maiden speech to fight for education and opportunity for all regardless of their background.
In 2006 he joined the Labour Government as Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Cabinet Office.
In 2007 he was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and remained as Minister of State in its successor department, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.
Following the 2010 election he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and in September 2010 returned to the backbenches.