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Steel

The Rt Hon. David Steel MP

The Rt Hon. David Martin Scott Steel (born 31st March 1938) is the current Leader of the Liberal Party.

Early Life Edit

David Steel was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, the son of a Church of Scotland minister also called David Steel, who would later serve as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He was brought up in Scotland and Kenya, and educated at the Prince of Wales School, Nairobi and George Watson's College in Edinburgh.

Political Career Edit

He first took an active part in Liberal politics at the University of Edinburgh, and after graduating in Law worked for the Scottish Liberal Party and then the BBC before being elected to the House of Commons at the Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles by-election of 1965, becoming the "Baby of the House". He represented this seat until 1983, when he became Member of Parliament for Tweedale, Ettrick and Lauderdale, a new constituency covering much of the same territory. As an MP he was responsible for introducing, as a Private Member's Bill, the Abortion Act 1967. He also became the Liberal Party's spokesman on employment, and in 1970 its Chief Whip. In 1976, after the downfall of Jeremy Thorpe and a short period in which Jo Grimond acted as caretaker leader, he won the Liberal leadership by a wide margin over fellow MP John Pardoe. At only 38 years old, he was one of the youngest party leaders in British history. In 1977, he led the Liberals into the "Lib-Lab pact" by which they agreed to keep the Labour government in power. The unpopularity of the Labour government impaired the Liberals' performance, and Steel's first election as leader, the 1979 general election, saw a decline in Liberal fortunes.

Accident and Resignation Edit

On January 25th 1981, David Steel was attending a meeting of railroad enthusiasts when he was hit by a model train. Though he made a full recovery, Steel resigned the same day, to be succeeded by Adam Croft.

Political Offices Edit

Preceded by:
Jo Grimond
Leader of the Liberal Party
1976 - 1981
Succeeded by:
Adam Croft
Preceded by:
Charles Edward McArthur Donaldson
Member of Parliament for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles
1965 - Present
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
Preceded by:
Teddy Taylor
Baby of the House
1965 - 1966
Succeeded by:
John Ryan