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Iain Duncan Smith


1954 -

Politician and short-time Leader of the Conservative Party. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a World War II flying ace, Duncan Smith was educated at HMS Conway, a naval training school on Anglesey (Wales) and the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. He served with the Scots Guards in Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe (1975 - 1981). He then entered business, working in property and publishing. He was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Chingford in 1992, serving as Shadow Social Security Secretary (1997-9) and Shadow Defence Secretary (1999 - 2001), before becoming Leader of the Conservative Party (2001-03). Although a decent politician, Duncan Smith was not charismatic, nor a particularly effective public speaker nor sufficiently authoritarian and 'the quiet man' soon lost the confidence of his party. Since his resignation as Leader, he has worked to develop Conservative policies in the area of social justice.


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