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Iain Duncan Smith

The Rt Hon George Iain Duncan Smith (born April 9, 1954) is a British politician, and is the current leader of the Conservative Party and MP for Chingford and Woodford Green[?]. He is more commonly known as Iain Duncan Smith and is sometimes referred to by the initials IDS.

He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of the World War II RAF ace Group Captain W. G. G. Duncan Smith by his wife Pamela, a ballerina, whom he married in 1946. Pamela's maternal grandmother was Ellen Oshey[?], a Japanese woman whose father was a Japanese artist. Iain Duncan Smith is therefore one eighth Japanese.

He was educated at HMS Conway in Anglesey and at Sandhurst military college. He then joined the Scots Guards[?] in 1975, serving for six years including a spell in (then) Rhodesia. On leaving the Guards he joined the Conservative party and also began to work for GEC in 1981. He married Betsy Fremantle in 1982. He fought his first electoral contest in 1987 and in 1992 he stood for his current seat (Chingford and Woodford Green[?]), succeeding the retiring Norman Tebbit. A fervent Eurosceptic, he remained on the backbenches until 1997 when as a supporter of William Hague he was promoted to the shadow cabinet. Following the election debacle of 2001 Hague resigned and Duncan Smith was elected leader of the Conservatives over Kenneth Clarke on September 12, 2001.

In 2002, the TV programme Newsnight[?] published allegations that his CV claimed that he had attended the UniversitÓ di Perugia when he had in fact only attended a series of short courses at a language college in the same city.

He stated in December 2002 that he intended to be party leader for a very long time to come. This has done little to quell the speculation in Westminster regarding his continued presence as party leader.

According to the faxyourmp.com website, which monitors MPs' replies to faxes and emails from their constituents, Mr. Duncan Smith rates last on their list, with no replies to a total of 17 messages sent.

On 21 February 2003 the Independent newspaper published a story stating that a number of MPs were attempting to start the process of declaring a vote of no confidence in Mr Duncan Smith.

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