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Grimond, Joseph

Grimond, Joseph ( ‘Jo’ Grimond) (1913–93). Liberal leader. Born in St Andrews, son of a Dundee jute manufacturer, Grimond went to Eton and Balliol, and was called to the bar in 1937. His marriage the following year to Laura Bonham-Carter, a granddaughter of H. H. Asquith, brought him into the centre of apostolic liberalism. Returned to Westminster in 1950 for Orkney and Shetland, he became an excellent speaker with a handsome presence. In 1956 he succeeded Clement Davies as leader, and served until 1967, when he made way for Jeremy Thorpe. Grimond began the process of liberal revival, from a low of six MPs in 1950 to nine in 1964 and twelve in 1966, even if the euphoria of the Orpington by-election victory in 1962 was never quite repeated. He welcomed an alliance with the Social Democratic Party in 1981 but retired in 1983, taking a life peerage. His later years were troubled by deafness. His Memoirs were published in 1979.

J. A. Cannon

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