Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith

George Iain Duncan Smith (born 9 April 1954; often referred to by his initials "IDS") is a British Conservative politician. He is currently the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and was previously leader of the Conservative Party from September 2001 to October 2003. He was first elected to parliament at the 1992 general election as the MP for Chingford and has represented its successor constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green since the 1997 general election.

Duncan Smith was born in Edinburgh, in Scotland, and served in the Scots Guards from 1975 to 1981, with service in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia. He joined the Conservative Party in 1981, and was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1992. When William Hague resigned as Conservative Party leader in 2001, Duncan Smith won the subsequent leadership election, bolstered by the support of Margaret Thatcher and his Eurosceptic ideology. Duncan Smith was the first Roman Catholic to serve as Conservative Party leader, and the first born in Scotland since Arthur Balfour. In 2010, “The Tablet” named him as one of Britain’s most influential Roman Catholics.

In 2003, the Conservative Party passed a Vote of No Confidence in Duncan Smith, as many considered him unable to return the party to government. He resigned, and was succeeded as party leader by Michael Howard. As a backbencher, Duncan Smith founded the Centre for Social Justice, a centre-right think tank independent of the Conservative Party and became a published novelist. On 12 May 2010, Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Duncan Smith to serve in the cabinet as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Read more about Iain Duncan Smith:  Early Life, Education, Military Service, Other Work, Political Views, Creative Writing, Personal Life

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