Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon

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The Baroness Smith of Basildon

Official portrait of Baroness Smith of Basildon crop 2.jpg
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
Assumed office
27 May 2015
LeaderHarriet Harman (Acting)
Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded byThe Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Shadow Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Lords
In office
16 May 2012 – 28 May 2015
Served with The Lord Tunnicliffe
LeaderEd Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded byThe Lord Tunnicliffe
Succeeded byThe Lord McAvoy
Minister of State for Third Sector
In office
8 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byKevin Brennan
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
In office
27 June 2007 – 8 June 2009
Served with Ian Austin
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byKeith Hill
Succeeded byAnne Snelgrove
Parliamentary Representation
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
7 July 2010
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Basildon
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byDavid Amess
Succeeded byStephen Metcalfe
Personal details
Angela Evans

(1959-01-07) 7 January 1959 (age 60)
London, England, UK
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Nigel Smith
Alma materLeicester Polytechnic

Angela Evans Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon, PC (born 7 January 1959)[1] is an English 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 Peer 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 Nigel Smith, who has written a number of history books for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

From 1982 to 1983, Smith was a trainee accountant with the London Borough of Newham. She then worked for the League Against Cruel Sports from 1983 to 1995, becoming the head of Political and Public Relations. She was a political researcher from 1995 to 1997.

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 Basildon at the 1997 general election, replacing the Conservative MP David Amess, who had moved to contest the nearby safer seat of Southend West when Basildon's boundaries were slightly redrawn, aware that his small majority was very vulnerable to being overturned by Labour. She was re-elected comfortably in 2001 and 2005, but lost the then-newly created South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency, which predominantly covered much of the area she represented in Parliament, to the Conservative Stephen Metcalfe in 2010.

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 2001, 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 Peer 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 Spokeswoman 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 2016, Smith and Lords chief whip Lord Bassam stated they would boycott shadow cabinet meetings while Jeremy Corbyn remained leader of the Labour Party, but returned to attending shadow cabinet four months later.[10][11]

In September 2017, she was named at Number 71 in 'The 100 Most Influential People on the Left' by commentator Iain Dale.[12]


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.[13]

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1959–1978: Miss Angela Evans
  • 1978–1997: Ms Angela Smith
  • 1997–2009: Ms Angela Smith MP
  • 2009–2010: The Rt Hon. Angela Smith MP
  • 2010: The Rt Hon. Angela Smith
  • 2010–: The Rt Hon. The Baroness Smith of Basildon PC

Animal protection[edit]

An active supporter of animal welfare, Smith is a patron of Freedom for Animals, a charity campaigning for an end to the use of animals in circuses, zoos and the exotic pet trade.[14]


  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 Archived 1 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  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. ^ "Angela Smith". Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  7. ^ "No. 59485". The London Gazette. 12 July 2010. p. 13181.
  8. ^ Lords Debates 7 July 2010, c 333 UK Parliament
  9. ^ "Baroness Smith of Basildon". Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Who's staying and who's going in the shadow cabinet?". BBC News. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  11. ^ Edwards, Peter (11 October 2016). "Peers return to shadow Cabinet four months after summer rebellion". LabourList. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  12. ^ Dale, Iain (25 September 2017). "The 100 Most Influential People On The Left: Iain Dale's 2017 List". LBC. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  13. ^ Angela Smith overclaimed nearly £1,500 of expenses[permanent dead link] Third Sector, 5 February 2010
  14. ^ "Angela Smith - Baroness Smith of Basildon". Manchester: The Captive Animals' Protection Society (working as Freedom for Animals). Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.

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