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Item of the Month – May 2014

John Smith 1938-1994Archive May 2014 John Smith Memorial Service

Card taken from his memorial service

Leader of the Labour Party from July 1992 – May 1994

The son of a headmaster, Smith grew up in the small town of Ardrishaig, West Scotland. After leaving Duncoon Grammar school, he went on to study Law at Glasgow University. Smith first became a parliamentary candidate at the age of only 22 in a by-election in East Fife 1961, however after unsuccessfully running for the seat a second time, he married Elizabeth Bennett in 1967 and had three daughters. He entered Parliament in 1970 and was appointed the Under Secretary of State for Energy in October 1974. In November 1978 Smith became Secretary of State for Trade however, it was not until after the 1983 general election and resignation of Michael Foot, that Smith became a significant member of the Labour Party. In 1987 he was appointed as Shadow Chancellor and finally in 1992 saw off his only challenger, Bryan Gould, for leader of the Labour Party.