Jacqui Smith

Jacqui Smith

Infobox Minister
honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable
name = Jacqui Smith
honorific-suffix = MP

office = Home Secretary
primeminister = Gordon Brown
term_start = 28 June 2007
term_end =
predecessor = John Reid
successor =
office2 = Government Chief Whip
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
primeminister2 = Tony Blair
term_start2 = 5 May 2006
term_end2 = 28 June 2007
predecessor2 = Hilary Armstrong
successor2 = Geoff Hoon
constituency_MP3 = Redditch
majority3 = 2,716 (6.7%)
term_start3 = 1 May 1997
term_end3 =
predecessor3 = Constituency created
successor3 =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1962|11|3|df=yes
birth_place = Malvern, England, United Kingdom
death_date =
death_place =
party = Labour
alma_mater = Hertford College, Oxford

Jacqueline Jill "Jacqui" Smith (born 3 November 1962) is a British politician for the Labour Party. She is currently the Home Secretary and has been Member of Parliament for Redditch since 1997. She was made a Member of the Privy Council in 2003.

Smith is the first female Home Secretary of the United Kingdom. She is also only the third woman to hold one of the Great Offices of State — after Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister) and Margaret Beckett (Foreign Secretary). She has been tipped by one political pundit [cite web
last = Robinson | first = Nick | title = Premier Performance | work = BBC News | date = 2008-06-03 | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2008/06/premier_perform.html | accessdate = 2008-07-08
] as a potential successor to Gordon Brown following his recent slide in the opinion polls. [cite web | last = Glover | first = Julian | title = Labour's poll rating worst since Thatcher | work = The Guardian | date = 2008-05-20 | url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/may/19/polls.labour | accessdate = 2008-07-08]

Early life

Born in Malvern, Worcestershire, Smith attended Dyson Perrins High School in Malvern. Her parents were teachers. Her local MP there, Conservative backbencher Sir Michael Spicer, recalled in Parliament in 2003 how he had first met her when he was addressing the sixth form at The Chase School, where Smith's mother was a teacher. [ [http://archive.thisisworcestershire.co.uk/2001/6/8/322752.html Minister visits high school] , This is Worcestershire, 8 June 2001.] "So great was my eloquence that she immediately rushed off and joined the Labour party." [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/vo030401/debtext/30401-25.htm House of Commons Hansard] , 1 April 2003, column 876: Michael Spicer on Jacqui Smith.] Smith went on to study for a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Hertford College, Oxford. After Oxford, she did a PGCE at Worcester College of Higher Education. Smith lived in Redditch until she was made home secretary when she moved to London to be closer to her job, whilst keeping the family home based in her constituency in Redditch.

From 1986 to 1988, she taught Economics at [http://www.arrowvale.worcs.sch.uk Arrow Vale High School] in Redditch [ [http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/newsroom/bulletin/archive_bulletins/bulletins38-41_2001/bulletin40.pdf New Minister of State for Health] , UK Transplant Bulletin, Autumn 2001] , followed by a post at Worcester Sixth Form College before becoming Head of Economics and GNVQ Co-ordinator at Haybridge High School, Hagley in 1990.

Member of Parliament

She was elected MP for Redditch at the 1997 general election, becoming one of the "Blair Babes" as part of a (then) record number of female MPs elected to the House of Commons. However, it must be acknowledged that with a majority of only 2,719 Smith is in danger of losing her seat at the next election.

Smith entered the Government in July 1999 as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Employment, working with the Minister for School Standards Estelle Morris. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Education ministers change in reshuffle | date=1999-07-29 | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/406923.stm | work =BBC News | accessdate = 2008-05-15 ] She then became a Minister of State at the Department for Health after the 2001 general election. Shewas appointed as the Government's deputy Minister for Women in 2003, working alongside Secretary of State Patricia Hewitt. In this role she published the Government's proposals for Civil Partnerships, a system designed to offer same-sex couples an opportunity to gain legal recognition for their relationship with an associated set of rights and responsibilities.

Minister for Schools

Following the 2005 general election, Smith was appointed to serve as the Minister of State for Schools in the Department for Education and Skills, replacing Stephen Twigg who had lost his seat. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Adviser Adonis made a minister | date= | publisher= | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4530433.stm | work =BBC News | pages = | accessdate = 2008-05-15 | language = ] She received praise in this role – often outperforming her superior Ruth Kelly. Teacher trade union sources stated that Smith "talked to us on our level".

Government Chief Whip

In the 2006 reshuffle she was appointed as the Government's Chief Whip. In a period when supporters of Gordon Brown were pushing Prime Minister Tony Blair to resign, she was successfully able to calm the situation down. The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson described her as being effective at "making peace between the warring Blair and Brown factions". [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Profile: Jacqui Smith | date= 2007-07-19 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6906150.stm | work = BBC News | pages = | accessdate = 2008-05-15 ]

Smith was regarded as a loyal Blairite during Tony Blair's premiership, a fact confirmed by her voting record, [ [http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Jacqui_Smith&mpc=Redditch Public Whip: Voting Record - Jacqui Smith MP] ] and she was brought to tears by Blair's farewell appearance in the House of Commons.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=First woman at the Home Office: Jacqui Smith | date= | publisher= | url =http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article2720095.ece | work =The Independent | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-22 | language = ]

Home Secretary

Jacqui Smith was appointed Home Secretary in Gordon Brown's first Cabinet reshuffle of 28 June 2007. Just one day into her new job bombs were found in London and a terrorist attack took place the following day. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/30/nbomb430.xml The Daily Telegraph - Baptism of fire for new Home Secretary Smith] ]

On 24 January 2008 she announced new sweeping powers for the police, including the proposal to hold "terrorist suspects" or those "linked to terrorism" for forty-two days without charge. [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/01/24/britain.terror.ap/index.html CNN.com - UK plans tougher terrorism laws] ] In the same month Smith was involved in controversy when she admitted that she wouldn't feel safe on the street of London at night. Such statements were compounded by her suggestion that walking on streets at night wasn't "a thing that people do". Critics suggested her statements were an admission that the government had failed to tackle crime effectively. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3216678.ece The Times - Home secretary Jacqui Smith scared of walking London alone] ]

On the 19 July 2007 Smith admitted to smoking cannabis a number of times in Oxford in the 1980s. [cite web | title = Home Secretary: I smoked cannabis | work = BBC News | date = 2008-07-19 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6905886.stm | accessdate = 2008-07-08] She stated her behaviour had been wrong, and urged people not to try it especially considering the side effects and alleged strengthening of cannabis that had occurred since that time. She also added that having smoked cannabis, it had "given her the experiences to understand that she wants crime tackled". This information was made public the day after Gordon Brown appointed her head of a new government review of the UK Drugs strategy. The incident left some in the news media to rename her Jacqui Spliff and Wacky Baccy Jacqui.Fact|date=July 2008 | Have either of these nicknames actually been used in any notable publication? In May 2008 Smith reversed the government's decision in 2004 to reclassify cannabis as a class C drug, returning it to class B status in 2009. [cite web | last = Hope | first = Christopher | title = Cannabis to be upgraded to class B drug | work = The Daily Telegraph | date = 2008-05-08 | url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1935959/Cannabis-to-be-upgraded-to-class-B-drug.html | accessdate = 2008-05-15]

In June 2008 she wrote a letter to the NUJ stating that police may restrict photography, going against a long-standing principle of not inhibiting the freedom to take photographs, stating that the police can "restrict or monitor photography in certain circumstances". [ [http://www.bjphoto.co.uk/public/showPage.html?page=801977 British Journal of Photography - Home Secretary green lights restrictions on photography] ]

Jacqui Smith will introduce a crime mapping scheme which will allow for citizens of England and Wales to access information about local crime information and how to combat crime. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7528702.stm] Jacqui Smith, whilst being Home Secretary was pleased to announce crime has dropped year on year under the labour government and continued to do so in 2008. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7511192.stm] Jacqui Smith also won praised, after managing to pass the 42 day detention law plans in parliament, despite heavy opposition. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7449268.stm]

Personal life

Smith married Richard J Timney (born 1963 in Ealing) in October 1987 in Malvern and has two sons (born September 1993 and June 1998). She is a very keen supporter of Aston Villa who she regularly enjoys watching in her spare time. [ [http://www.avfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10265~1273313,00.html Aston Villa FC - Government Approval] ]

ee also

* Cabinet of the United Kingdom


External links

* [http://www.jacquismithmp.co.uk Jacqui Smith] official site
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-4851,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Jacqui Smith MP]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/jacqui_smith/redditch TheyWorkForYou.com - Jacqui Smith MP]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/mpdb/html/473.stm BBC News - Find Your MP: Jacqui Smith]
* [http://www.dmoz.org/Regional/Europe/United_Kingdom/Society_and_Culture/Politics/Parties/Labour/MPs/Smith,_Jacqui/ Open Directory Project — Jacqui Smith] directory category
* [http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=jacqui+smith The Register] Jacqui Smith on Technology

Video clips

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7pPF-jPdYo YouTube clip: Smith admitting she smoked cannabis as a student]

Offices held

succession box two to two
before = Hilary Armstrong
title1 = Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
title2 = Government Chief Whip
years1 = 2006–2007
years2 = 2006–2007
after = Geoff Hoon

NAME = Smith, Jacqueline Jill
SHORT DESCRIPTION = British politician
DATE OF BIRTH = 3 November 1962
PLACE OF BIRTH = Malvern, Worcestershire

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