Tim Smith (British politician)

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Tim Smith
Member of Parliament
for Beaconsfield
In office
27 May 1982 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byRonald Bell
Succeeded byDominic Grieve
Member of Parliament
for Ashfield
In office
28 April 1977 – 7 April 1979
Preceded byDavid Marquand
Succeeded byFrank Haynes
Personal details
Born (1947-10-05) 5 October 1947 (age 73)
Plympton, Devon, England, UK
Political partyConservative

Timothy John Smith (born 5 October 1947) is a British former Conservative politician.


In 1977, Smith was selected as Conservative candidate for the Labour seat of Ashfield in Nottinghamshire at the by-election that had been called following the resignation of David Marquand. Ashfield was regarded as a 'safe' Labour seat, but on 28 April, in an amazing result, Smith overturned Marquand's October 1974 majority of 22,915[1] to win by 264 votes[2] over Labour's Michael Cowan. However, Smith was unable to hold the seat in the 1979 general election.

He was subsequently selected to contest the 1982 Beaconsfield by-election, in which he defeated the Labour candidate, future Prime Minister Tony Blair. Smith was thereafter returned as MP by the constituency at each general election until 1997.


During the "cash-for-questions affair" it was revealed that he had taken undeclared payments of between £18,000 and £25,000 from Mohamed Al-Fayed, the owner of Harrods, much of it allegedly handed over in envelopes stuffed with £50 notes.[3] In May 1997, at the subsequent general election, Smith stood down and left politics altogether.

On 3 July 1997, he was found guilty by Sir Gordon Downey of taking cash for questions from Al Fayed, along with Neil Hamilton. The report severely criticised the conduct of both Hamilton and Smith whilst they had been MPs, and said that had they remained MPs they would have faced a substantial suspension from the House of Commons.[4]

Smith now lives in Boyton, Cornwall.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UK general election results, October 1974: Aberavon – Banbury at Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources
  2. ^ "1977 by-elections". Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) at British Parliamentary By-elections
  3. ^ Ex-minister quits over sleaze, The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 27 March 1997
  4. ^ "Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Marquand
Member of Parliament for Ashfield
Succeeded by
Frank Haynes
Preceded by
Sir Ronald Bell
Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield
Succeeded by
Dominic Grieve