Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon

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This article is about the peeress and former MP for Basildon in Essex. For the current MP for the Sheffield-area constituency of Penistone and Stockbridge, see Angela C. Smith. For other uses, see Angela Smith (disambiguation).
The Baroness Smith of Basildon
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
Assumed office
27 May 2015
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Opposition Deputy Chief Whip
in the House of Lords
In office
16 May 2012 – 28 May 2015
serving with The Lord Tunnicliffe
Leader Ed Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by The Lord Tunnicliffe
Succeeded by The Lord McAvoy
Minister of State for Third Sector
In office
8 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Kevin Brennan
Succeeded by Position abolished
Parliamentary Private Secretary
to the Prime Minister
In office
27 June 2007 – 8 June 2009
serving with Ian Austin
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Keith Hill
Succeeded by Anne Snelgrove
Member of Parliament
for Basildon
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by David Amess
Succeeded by Stephen Metcalfe
Personal details
Born (1959-01-07) 7 January 1959 (age 56)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Labour Co-operative
Spouse(s) Nigel Smith PhD
Alma mater Leicester Polytechnic

Angela Evans Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon, PC (born 7 January 1959)[1] is a British Labour Co-operative politician who was Member of Parliament (MP) for Basildon from 1997 until losing her seat to the Conservatives at the 2010 General Election.

Smith was a Minister of State in the Cabinet Office, incorporating the offices of Minister for the Third Sector and Minister for Social Exclusion.[2] She was created a Life Peeress in 2010 and became Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords in May 2015.

Early life[edit]

Smith attended Pitsea Junior School and Chalvedon Comprehensive (later Chalvedon School) in Basildon, before reading Public Administration at Leicester Polytechnic, where she graduated as BA. In 1978, she married Dr Nigel Smith, who has written a number of history books for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

From 1982–83, Smith was a trainee accountant with the London Borough of Newham. She then worked for the League Against Cruel Sports from 1983–95, becoming the head of Political and Public Relations. She was a political researcher from 1995–97.

Smith was a member of Essex County Council from 1989 and a member of the Fire Authority for the County of Essex.[3]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Having previously contested Southend West in the 1987 General Election, Smith was selected to stand for election for Labour a decade later through an all-women shortlist.[4] She was elected for the seat of Basildon at the 1997 general election, replacing the Conservative MP David Amess, who had moved to contest the neighbouring seat of Southend West. She lost her Basildon seat to Stephen Metcalfe in 2010 and subsequently chose not seek election elsewhere.

In December 1997 Smith introduced the Private Member's Bill to minimise waste generation, and was successful in negotiating its passage through Parliament to become the Waste Minimisation Act 1998.[5]

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 Fire Services.

On 28 June 2007, Smith was appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, entitling her to attend Cabinet. She gave up this role at the reshuffle of June 2009, to enter Government in the Cabinet Office at the rank of Minister of State, when she was sworn of the Privy Council.[6]


Smith was created a Life Peeress as Baroness Smith of Basildon, of Basildon in the County of Essex, on 7 July 2010,[7] following the 2010 Dissolution Honours List. She was introduced into the House of Lords the next day.[8]

In the Lords, Smith was Labour Spokeswomen for Energy and Climate Change from 2010 to 2013, Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2012 and the Home Office from 2012 to 2015. She also served as Opposition Deputy Whip in the House of Lords from 2012 to 2015. On 27 May 2015, Smith was elected unopposed as Labour's Leader in the Lords, and so joined Harriet Harman's Shadow Cabinet.[9]


In June 2009 Smith had to repay over £1,000 for wrongly claimed Council Tax expenses and service charges for her second property in Elephant and Castle. A review by Sir Thomas Legg uncovered further monies over-claimed by Baroness Smith making a total of £1,429 which she later returned.[10]

Animal protection[edit]

An active supporter of animal welfare, Smith is a Patron of the Captive Animals Protection Society, a charity campaigning for an end to the use of animals in circuses, zoos and the exotic pet trade.[11]


  1. ^ House of Lords Business — 8 July 2010 UK Parliament
  2. ^ Angela Evans Smith is new Third Sector Minister Third Sector, 8 June 2009
  3. ^ New Fire Minister in Basildon Essex Fire and Rescue Service; Accessed 9 October 2006[dead link]
  4. ^ "Seats with Labour candidates from all-female shortlists". The Independent. 9 January 1996. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Waste Minimisation Act 1998 National Archives
  6. ^
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59485. p. 13181. 12 July 2010.
  8. ^ Lords Debates 7 July 2010, c 333 UK Parliament
  9. ^
  10. ^ Angela Smith overclaimed nearly £1,500 of expenses Third Sector, 5 February 2010
  11. ^ "Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon". Captive Animals' Protection Society. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Amess
Member of Parliament
for Basildon

Succeeded by
Stephen Metcalfe
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Leader of the Labour Party
in the House of Lords

Political offices
Preceded by
The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords