Topic: Malcolm Rifkind

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Portrait of Sir Malcolm Rifkind by Anne Mackintosh

Sir Malcolm Leslie Rifkind KCMG QC (born 21 June 1946) is a British Conservative politician and Member of Parliament for the constituency of Kensington and Chelsea. He served in various roles as a Cabinet Minister under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, before becoming Foreign Secretary in 1995 in Major's Cabinet. Rifkind remained in that post until the 1997 general election, when his party lost power, and he lost his Edinburgh Pentlands seat. He attempted - unsuccessfully - to be re-elected in Pentlands in 2001; the constituency was abolished before the 2005 general election and he was adopted, and subsequently elected, as the Conservative candidate for Kensington and Chelsea. He announced his intention to seek the leadership of the party before the 2005 Conservative Party leadership election, but withdrew before balloting commenced.

Malcolm Rifkind was born in Edinburgh of Jewish descent, and was educated at George Watson's College and the University of Edinburgh where he studied law before taking a postgraduate degree in political science (his thesis was on land apportionment in Southern Rhodesia). While at University he took part in an overland expedition to the Middle East and India. He also appeared on University Challenge. He worked as an Assistant Lecturer at the University College of Rhodesia in Salisbury (now Harare) from 1967-68. He was called to the Scottish Bar in 1970 and practised full time as an Advocate until 1974. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1985 and a member of the Privy Council in 1986. From 1970 to 1974 he was a member of Edinburgh Town Council. He is married to Edith and is the father of Caroline Rifkind and The Times columnist Hugo Rifkind. He is also related to his former Conservative Government colleague Leon Brittan

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