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George Iain Duncan Smith , often referred to by his initials IDS, is a British Conservative Party politician. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2010 to 2016, he was previously the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2001 to 2003. He was first elected to Parliament at the 1992 general election as the MP for Chingford– which he represented until the constituency's abolition in 1997–and he has represented its successor constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green ever since.

The Right Honourable

MP
Iain Duncan Smith May 2015.jpg
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
In office
12 May 2010 – 18 March 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Yvette Cooper
Succeeded by Stephen Crabb
Leader of the Opposition
In office
13 September 2001 – 6 November 2003
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Deputy Michael Ancram
Preceded by William Hague
Succeeded by Michael Howard
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
13 September 2001 – 6 November 2003
Deputy Michael Ancram
Preceded by William Hague
Succeeded by Michael Howard
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
15 June 1999 – 13 September 2001
Leader William Hague
Shadowing George Robertson
Geoff Hoon
Preceded by John Maples
Succeeded by Bernard Jenkin
Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security
In office
2 June 1997 – 15 June 1999
Leader William Hague
Shadowing Harriet Harman
Alistair Darling
Preceded by Peter Lilley
Succeeded by David Willetts
Member of Parliament
for Chingford and Woodford Green
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded by Norman Tebbit
Majority 8,386 (19.1%)
Personal details
Born George Iain Duncan Smith
(1954-04-09) 9 April 1954 (age 62)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Betsy Fremantle
Children 4
Alma mater Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Religion Roman Catholicism
Military service
Nickname(s) IDS
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1975–1981
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Scots Guards
Battles/wars The Troubles

George Iain Duncan Smith (born 9 April 1954), often referred to by his initials IDS, is a British Conservative Party politician. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2010 to 2016, he was previously the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2001 to 2003. He was first elected to Parliament at the 1992 general election as the MP for Chingford– which he represented until the constituency's abolition in 1997–and he has represented its successor constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green ever since.

Duncan Smith was born in Edinburgh and served in the Scots Guards from 1975 to 1981, seeing tours in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia. He joined the Conservative Party in 1981, and eventually succeeded William Hague as Conservative Leader in 2001; he won the leadership election partly owing to the support of Margaret Thatcher for his Eurosceptic beliefs. Duncan Smith was the first Catholic to serve as a Conservative Leader, and the first to be born in Scotland since Arthur Balfour. In 2010 The Tablet named him one of Britain’s most influential Catholics.

Many Conservative MPs came to consider him incapable of winning an election when he was Conservative Party Leader. In 2003 his MPs passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership; he immediately resigned, and was succeeded by Michael Howard. Returning to the backbenches, he founded the centre-right Centre for Social Justice, a think tank independent of the Conservative Party, and became a published novelist. On 12 May 2010 the new Prime Minister, David Cameron, appointed Duncan Smith to serve in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He resigned from the Cabinet on 18 March 2016, in opposition to Chancellor George Osborne's proposed cuts to disability benefits.

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