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Politics




Simba Makoni, Zimbabwean Politician

Chemistry, 1978

Makoni trained as a chemist in the UK and during his studies he represented the Zimbabwe African National Union in Europe.

Makoni's first term in government was his appointment as Deputy Minister of Agriculture at Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, when he was thirty years old.

He continued as a Zimbabwean politician holding various cabinet roles including Minister of Finance and Economic Development in President Robert Mugabe's cabinet from 2000 to 2002. He faced strong opposition during the Economic Change in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s as his policies contradicted those of the rest of the ZANU-PF party.

It was in the March 2008 presidential election that he ran as a candidate against incumbent Robert Mugabe. Makoni said that he would have liked to run as ZANU-PF's candidate, but since he could not, he was running as an independent.

Makoni is now Interim President a the political party Muvambo/Kusile/Dawn, of which he is one of the founding members.
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Andy Reed, MP for Loughborough

Public Administration & Managerial Studies, 1987

Andy is a Labour politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the key marginal Constituency of Loughborough from 1997 to 2010.

He joined the Labour Party in 1983/84, and was elected in 1987 as a Parish Councillor, a position held until 1991. Reed worked as a Parliamentary assistant to Keith Vaz from 1987 until 1988 when he joined Leicester City Council, working first in Urban Regeneration on the Inner Area Programme and later as a Project Officer for Recreation & Arts.

As well as being the MP for Loughborough in the Commons since 1997, he has also undertaken other formal positions in government over the last few years. He has held the post of Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) in the Culture, Media and Sport ministerial team and, more recently, the Treasury team. Although regarded as a loyal MP, in 2001 Reed was the first member of the Government to resign from his post as PPS to Margaret Beckett MP over the Iraq war.
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Angela Smith, MP for Basildon

Public Administration, 1981

Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon, is a Labour politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Basildon from 1997 until she was defeated in 2010.

One of her notable achievements while in office, is the introduction of a private member's bill in 1997 to minimise waste generation. She was successful in negotiating its passage through Parliament to become the Waste Minimisation Act 1998.

Smith was appointed a government whip in 1999, before being promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in October 2002. In 2006 she was moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government, with responsibility for the fire service.

On 28 June 2007, she was appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, entitling her to attend Cabinet meetings. She gave up this role at the reshuffle of June 2009, to enter the government at the Cabinet Office at Minister of State level.

Smith was created life peer as Baroness Smith of Basildon, of Basildon in the County of Essex, on 7 July 2010.
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Sir Peter Soulsby, Politician and Leicester City's mayor

Education, 1971

Sir Peter Soulsby is a former Labour politician and the current Mayor of Leicester. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester South from 2005 until he resigned in order to contest the new post of mayor in 2011.

He was first elected to Leicester City Council in 1974 and remained a Labour councillor until he was defeated in Spinney Hills ward in May 2003. Despite his own opposition to the Iraq War and his participation in rallies and marches, his defeat (and that of other sitting Labour councillors) reflected the widespread local opposition to the war.

In April 2011 Sir Peter Soulsby became the first elected mayor of Leicester, receiving more than half of first-preference votes.

He was knighted by the Queen in 1999 for services to the City of Leicester.
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David Taylor, Politician

Chartered Public Finance Accountant, 1970

David was the Member of Parliament (MP) for North West Leicestershire from 1997 until his death in 2009.

Following his studies at Leicester Polytechnic, he went on to gain a BA in Maths and Computing in 1974 from the Open University. During this time he wrote the first CASCAID computer program that evolved into the modern day Kudos and Adult Directions programs. Before being elected as a Member of Parliament, Taylor was an accountant and the computer applications manager for Leicestershire County Council from 1977 to 1997.

He was first selected for his seat in 1989 and contested it in 1992. Taylor's views were on the left of the Labour Party and he is widely regarded as one of the parliamentary rebels.

In 2005, he was nominated for the 'Backbencher of the Year' award, and two years later won the title. David described it as "a real privilege" to win the accolade in the Annual Awards organised by Sky TV and The House Magazine and decided by a ballot of all 646 MPs. His citation described him as "an indefatigable campaigner, constant attender and independent–minded".

In April 2009, David was named by The Sunday Telegraph as being in the Top Ten of MPs for providing their constituents with best value for the money they spend in providing a service.

At the May 2008 meeting of his Constituency Labour Party, Taylor announced he would not be standing for re-election at the next general election. David died unexpectadly on Boxing Day 2009 whilst walking with his family at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, before the general election.
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