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Lord Chris Smith's Biography

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Christopher Robert Smith was born on 24 July 1951 in Barnet, Hertfordshire.

A graduate of Cambridge and a Harvard scholar, Chris Smith became an M.P. when he won the Islington South & Finsbury constituency in 1983.

Chris Smith joined the shadow cabinet in 1992 as shadow Secretary of State for Environmental Protection and had a few moves of shadow departments before the Labour Party came to power in 1997.

Chris Smith was the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from 1997 to 2001. Since then he has been the Labour Party's nominee on the Committee on Standards In Public Life.

At a meeting in Rugby, 1984, Chris Smith in a rare openness from a British politician said: "My name is Chris Smith, I'm the Labour MP for Islington South and I'm gay."

Chris Smith declared that he would stand down at the 2005 election, saying: "There are many things I will miss about the House of Commons but I have done a good stint here and I thought that facing a new challenge is the right choice at this time of my life.

"It is now time to turn over the page."

In 2005, Chris Smith was made a life peer and became Lord Smith of Finsbury.

Lord Smith of Finsbury is chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority, the Chairman of the Wordsworth Trust and of the Donmar Warehouse, as well as being President of the Ramblers' Association.

In January 2005 Chris Smith revealed he was HIV positive

Chris Smith, revealed in The Sunday Times today that he had been HIV positive for 17 years.

Smith, who was the first openly gay Cabinet minister, told the paper that he decided to go public after Nelson Mandela announced his son had died of Aids.

Chris Smith who was diagnosed in 1987, said he wanted to 'demystify' the condition and to challenge prejudices, adding that HIV was a "liveable and treatable condition".

He said: "It means you have to take quite a lot of pills, but if you carry on doing that, there's no reason why you should not be able to go on living with this condition." 


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