35 Facts About Menzies Campbell


Menzies Campbell was the Member of Parliament for North East Fife from 1987 to 2015 and was the Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2 March 2006 until 15 October 2007.


Menzies Campbell is currently the Chancellor of the University of St Andrews.


Menzies Campbell was nominated for a life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours.


Menzies Campbell married Elspeth, Lady Grant-Suttie, daughter of Major General Roy Urquhart and former wife of Sir Philip Grant-Suttie, 8th Baronet, in June 1970.


The couple have no children, but Lady Menzies Campbell has a son from her first marriage.


Menzies Campbell was a sprinter at university and he broke Olympic gold medalist Wyndham Halswelle's 53-year-old Scottish 300 yards record in 1961.


Menzies Campbell captained the Great Britain athletics team in 1965 and 1966, and held the British 100 metres record from 1967 to 1974.

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On 7 January 2006, Menzies Campbell became interim leader following Kennedy's resignation, before winning the subsequent leadership contest.


On 2 March 2006, Menzies Campbell was declared leader after winning the leadership election under the alternative vote method.


Menzies Campbell promoted many younger MPs to his frontbench team including former MEP Nick Clegg as Home Affairs spokesperson and 26-year-old Jo Swinson as Scotland spokesperson.


Menzies Campbell regained some ground with the controversy over the US practice of "extraordinary rendition", the case of the NatWest Three, and the conflict in Lebanon.


Shortly before Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister in June 2007, Menzies Campbell was invited to a meeting with the then Chancellor of the Exchequer.


Brown surprised Menzies Campbell by requesting that two Liberal Democrats join his cabinet.


Labour leaked news of the meeting to the media and went behind Menzies Campbell to offer the job of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to Ashdown anyway; he turned it down.


Menzies Campbell resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats on 15 October 2007.


Menzies Campbell became the first elected leader of the Liberal Democrats who left the leadership without ever leading the party to a general election.


Gordon Lishman, the director of the charity, said "the recent media coverage poking fun at Sir Menzies Campbell has brought to light the age discrimination that is epidemic in the media and society".


Menzies Campbell said he believed that the claims were "within the spirit and letter of the rules" as the flat had not been renovated for 20 years.


On 9 October 2013, Menzies Campbell announced that he would stand down as a Member of Parliament at the 2015 general election.


Menzies Campbell said: "It is always a regret to begin the process of retiring from the House of Commons but I believe now is the time to start".


Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg paid tribute, saying Menzies Campbell "served this country and our party with unparalleled distinction".


Menzies Campbell became a life peer and a member of the House of Lords in October 2015.


Menzies Campbell promoted policies to shift taxation away from goods such as employment and towards bads such as pollution through a revenue-neutral restructuring of the tax system that maintains the current tax burden whilst lifting two-million low-paid individuals out of income tax altogether.


Menzies Campbell has been critical of what he claims as the "disproportionate military action" employed by the Israeli Defence Force in Gaza and in Lebanon, contending that Israel's tactics exacerbate existing tensions and lead to human rights abuses.


Menzies Campbell had stressed the need for the Liberal Democrats to provide extra support for female, disabled and ethnic minority candidates seeking to contest winnable seats.

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In July 2007, Menzies Campbell unveiled tax proposals that amounted to a large shift in the tax burden away from low-income and middle-income earners and onto higher-earners and pollution.


Menzies Campbell said of the proposals that "the unacceptable reality is that in Britain today the poorest pay a higher proportion of their income in tax than the super-rich" and that his aim was for "the rich and people with environmentally damaging lifestyles to pay a fairer share".


Menzies Campbell is a member of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation, established in October 2009.


Menzies Campbell was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1987 New Year Honours; he became a Privy Counsellor in the 1999 New Year Honours; and he was knighted in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to Parliament, having the honour conferred by the Prince of Wales on 27 May 2004.


Menzies Campbell was appointed a Companion of Honour in the 2013 Birthday Honours for public and political service.


Menzies Campbell was nominated for a life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours and created Baron Campbell of Pittenweem, of Pittenweem in the County of Fife, on 13 October 2015.


Menzies Campbell has honorary degrees from the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde.


Menzies Campbell was the only person nominated to succeed Sir Kenneth Dover after he retired as Chancellor of the University of St Andrews on 1 January 2006, so took office immediately after nominations closed on 9 January 2006.


Menzies Campbell was installed as Chancellor on 22 April 2006, at which time he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.


In 2010 it was reported that Menzies Campbell had been considered for the post of High Commissioner to Australia; The Guardian claimed it had been stalled as it would trigger a by-election in Menzies Campbell's constituency.