John Reid (UK politician)

From Academic Kids

The Right Honourable Dr. John Reid (born May 8, 1947 in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire) is a British politician, MP for Airdrie and Shotts, and Secretary of State for Defence.

Reid was educated in Coatbridge, before attending the University of Stirling, receiving a bachelor's degree in history and a Ph.D in economic history. After graduation he worked as a research officer for the Labour Party and as a trade union organiser. He entered parliament in 1987 as MP for the Motherwell North constituency (later renamed as Hamilton North and Bellshill).

Reid was married to Cathie McGowan, with whom he had two sons, from 1969 until her death in 1998. In 2002 he married Brazilian film director Carine Adler.

Reid is a senior member of the Labour Party, and has held several different Cabinet positions: Secretary of State for Scotland, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (the first Catholic to hold the position), Minister Without Portfolio (Labour Party Chairman), Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. On June 12, 2003 he was appointed Health Secretary following the resignation of Alan Milburn. It was reported by Private Eye that his reaction to being appointed was "Oh fuck, not health": the publication since then has regularly appended the phrase "oh fuck, not health" to any mention of his name.

Other positions held include Minister of State for Defence (1997-1998) and Minister of State for Transport (1998-1999). Following the incumbent Labour Party's 2005 General Election victory, he was appointed to the cabinet position of Secretary of State for Defence.

Reid is a former member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (of which he has said: "I used to be a Communist. I used to believe in Santa Claus"). Reid has a reputation as a tough fighter, and a shrewd negotiator; he is also regarded as one of the most intelligent MPs in the House.

An MP since 1987, his seat was abolished in boundary changes. Reid is a Catholic, and there was much speculation that he would become MP for the predominantly Catholic and rock-solid Labour seat of Glasgow East at the 2005 general election, however he was nominated for the seat of Airdrie and Shotts which he took with 59% of the vote, a notional swing to Labour from the SNP.

Recently, he caused controversy through calling BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman a "West London wanker" after a remark about John Reid being "an attack dog". He regards New Labour as a natural development of Bevanism. He is also one of a number of candidates likely to run as a "Stop Brown" candidate when Tony Blair relinquishes his leadership of the Labour Party.

See also

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Preceded by:
Donald Dewar
Secretary of State for Scotland
1999–2001
Succeeded by:
Helen Liddell
Preceded by:
Peter Mandelson
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2001–2002
Succeeded by:
Paul Murphy

Template:Succession box one to two

Preceded by:
Alan Milburn
Secretary of State for Health
2003–2005
Succeeded by:
Patricia Hewitt
Preceded by:
Geoff Hoon
Secretary of State for Defence
2005—
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

Template:End box

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