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Lord Reid of Cardowan is a British politician, who served as a Labour Party MP for 23 years. He was a cabinet minister under Tony Blair, most notably as Defence Secretary (2005 – 2006) and then Home Secretary (2006 – 2007). He was also, until October 2011, the Chairman of Scottish Premier League football club Celtic.
Born in Lanarkshire, the son of a postman and a factory worker he graduated from Stirling University with a BA in history and a PhD in economic history. Reid attributes his success to hard work and a good education.
Dr Reid has served at almost every level of the Labour Party, from branch to constituency. From 1979 to 1983 he was Research Officer for the Labour Party in Scotland subsequently becoming political adviser to the Labour Leader, Neil Kinnock from 1983 to 1985.
He was tipped for success from his first election to the Commons in 1987 and soon became a defence spokesman, where he spent seven years in opposition before joining the Ministry of Defence when Labour came to power in 1997.
He was largely responsible for the Strategic Defence Review, and was made minister for transport in 1998. He impressed PM Tony Blair with his robust performance and joined the cabinet as Scottish Secretary after the establishment of the Scottish Parliament. Following Peter Mandelson’s second fall, he became Northern Ireland Secretary.
He moved from the province shortly after being forced to suspend devolution in October 2002. His trouble-shooting skills were turned instead to more political questions, as Tony Blair appointed him Labour Party Chairman and Minister without Portfolio. In 2003, following Robin Cook’s resignation he was appointed Leader of the House of Commons. Less than three months later he became Health Secretary when Alan Milburn quit the government.
His 10-year ministerial career saw him undertake nine different ministerial jobs, his appointment as health secretary in June 2003 took him into his fourth cabinet job in less than a year.
Reid was a Lanarkshire MP for 23 years, representing three constituencies. He served Motherwell North from 1987 to 1997, Hamilton North and Bellshill between 1997 and 2005 and finally Airdrie and Shotts from 2005 to 2010. He entered the House of Lords in 2010.
1989-1990 Opposition Spokesman on Children
1990-1997 Opposition Spokesman on Defence
1997-1998 Minister of Defence
1998-1999 Minister for Transport
1999-2001 Secretary of State for Scotland
2001-2002 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2002-2003 Labour Party Chair and Minister without Portfolio
2003-2003 Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2003-2005 Secretary of State for Health
2005-2006 Secretary of State for Defence
2006-2007 Secretary of State for The Home Department (Home Secretary)
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