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Duncan Smith, (G.) Iain

Duncan Smith, (G.) Iain (b. 1954). Politician. Heavy election defeats in 1997 and 2001 made for rapid promotion for some Conservative MPs. After seven years in the Scots Guards (1975–81), Duncan Smith moved into industry before election for Chingford as successor to Norman Tebbit in 1992. In 1997 he became opposition spokesman for social security and in 1999 for defence. On the right of the party, he was a strong opponent of further EEC integration. On the resignation of William Hague2001, he defeated Michael Ancram, Kenneth Clarke, David Davis, and Michael Portillo for the Conservative leadership. His time in office was difficult, and in October 2003 he resigned after losing a vote of confidence. His successor was Michael Howard.

J. A. Cannon

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Duncan Smith, Iain

Iain Duncan Smith, 1954–, British political leader, b. Edinburgh. Educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he served in the Scots Guards from 1975 to 1981, leaving the army for a series of business positions, mainly in the defense industry and publishing. Also in 1981 he joined the Conservative party, and in 1987 he ran unsuccessfully for Parliament. After winning a seat in 1992, he became noted as a Euroskeptic and Thatcherite conservative. He held shadow cabinet posts from 1997 to 2001, when he was elected to succeed William Hague as Tory party leader. Duncan Smith had served just two years in the post when he was ousted and was replaced by Michael Howard. He founded (2004) the Centre for Social Justice, whose program for revamping the social welfare system was adopted by his party, and in 2010 he became secretary of state for work and pensions in the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition cabinet and initiated an overhaul of the welfare system.

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Smith, Iain Duncan

Smith, Iain Duncan (1954) British politician, leader of the Conservative Party (2001–2003). Smith was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Chingford at the 1992 General Election. A leading Eurosceptic backbencher during the Prime Ministership of John Major, he served as Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security (1997–99) and Shadow Defence Secretary (1999–2001) under William Hague. Smith faced the difficult task of unifying and modernising the Tories after two election defeats.

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