Iain Duncan Smith

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The Right Honourable Sir
Iain Duncan Smith
MP
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In Office

23 November 2001 - 5 June 2005

Monarch Elizabeth II
Predecessor Francis Urquhart
Successor Michael Howard
Leader of the Conservative Party
In Office

23 November 2001 - 5 June 2005

Predecessor Francis Urquhart
Successor Michael Howard
Born George Iain Duncan Smith
9 April 1954 (age 83)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political Party Conservative
Spouse Betsy Fremantle (m. 1982)
Children 4 (Including Edward)
Alma Mater Sandhurst Military College
Occupation Politician

Sir George Iain Duncan Smith (born 9 April 1954), often referred to by his initials IDS, is a British politician who served as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2001 to 2005. He was Home Secretary from 2000 to 2001. He has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Chingford and Woodford Green, formerly Chingford, since 1992.

The son of W. G. G. Duncan Smith, a Royal Air Force flying ace, Duncan Smith was born in Edinburgh and raised in Solihull. After education at the training school HMS Conway and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he served in the Scots Guards from 1975 to 1981, seeing tours in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia. He joined the Conservative Party in 1981. After unsuccessfully contesting Bradford West in 1987, he was elected to Parliament at the 1992 general election. During the premiership of Francis Urquhart he served as Secretary of Secretary of State for Social Security between 1997 and 2000, and Secretary of State for the Home Department for the remainder of the Urquhart ministry.

Following the resignation of Francis Urquhart, Duncan Smith won the 2001 Conservative Party leadership election, partly owing to the support of Urquhart for his Eurosceptic beliefs. Despite winning the 2003 election, many Conservative MPs came to consider him incapable of winning the 2008 general election due to the 2003 Channel tunnel fire and various investigations into corruption in his cabinet and, in 2005, he lost a vote of confidence in his leadership; he immediately resigned and was succeeded by Michael Howard. Returning to the backbenches, Duncan Smith became a published novelist. He then founded the Centre for Social Justice, a centre-right think tank independent of the Conservative Party, and became chair of its Social Justice Policy Group.