Joseph Grimond

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Joseph "Jo" Grimond, Baron Grimond CH , CBE , PC (born July 29, 1913 in St Andrews , † October 24, 1993 in Kirkwall ) was a British politician.

He was the son of Helen Lydia Grimond (nee Richardson) and the jute manufacturer Joseph Bowman Grimond. His father died in 1928. Grimond studied at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford on a Brackenbury scholarship . His subjects were law, political science, economics and philosophy. Robert Birley was one of his teachers. He graduated as a barrister in 1935 and was admitted to the bar in 1937.

He served in World War II, most recently as a major on the General Staff. In 1947 he was head of personnel for the European headquarters of UNRRA . In 1948 he served as secretary of the National Trust for Scotland . In 1967 he became director of the Guardian .

After an initial defeat in 1945 he was elected to parliament for the constituency of Orkney and Shetland from 1950 to 1992 . He was the Whip of the Liberal Party from 1951 to 1957, its chairman from 1956 to 1967, the latter succeeding Clement Davies . He campaigned for Great Britain to join the EEC , criticized the Allied Suez intervention and British nuclear armament, and fought for more state involvement in social and educational services. Temporarily he took over the party leadership again in 1976, after the resignation of Jeremy Thorpe , until David Steel took over the office.

Under Grimond's leadership, the Liberals doubled their votes in 1959. In British majority voting they only got six seats in parliament. There were nine mandates in 1964 and twelve in 1966. Grimond was dissatisfied with the rate of gains, so he stepped down from the party leadership. He had tried to position the Liberal Party between the Conservatives and Labor, but experienced the reorientation of Labor towards the center, which went hand in hand with considerable gains in votes on their part.

In 1938 he married Laura Miranda, daughter of Violet Bonham-Carter , who swore him to the teachings of Herbert Henry Asquith , her grandfather. He had four children. In 1983 he was promoted to Life Peer as Baron Grimond , of Firth in the County of Orkney , and sat from then on in the House of Lords . Grimond died in 1993 from a stroke at home, now deaf.


  • The Liberal Future. Faber & Faber, London 1959.
  • The Liberal Challenge. Hollis & Carter, London 1963.
  • The Common Welfare. Temple Smith, London 1978.
  • Memoirs. Heinemann, London 1979, ISBN 0-434-30600-2 .
  • A Personal Manifesto. Martin Robertson, Oxford 1983, ISBN 0-85520-678-0 .
  • Highlands and Islands. In: Julian Critchley (Ed.): Britain. A view from Westminster. Blandford Press, Poole et al. 1986, ISBN 0-7137-1679-7 , pp. 9-26.
  • The St. Andrews of Jo Grimond. Alan Sutton, Stroud 1992, ISBN 0-7509-0207-8 .

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