Laura Grimond

Laura Grimond

Laura Miranda Grimond, Baroness Grimond (née Bonham-Carter; 13 October 1918 – 15 February 1994) was a British Liberal Party politician, and the wife of party leader Jo Grimond.


She was born in Marylebone, London,[1] the daughter of Sir Maurice Bonham Carter and Liberal politician Violet Asquith. She was the granddaughter of Liberal Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith. She was also an elder sister of Mark Bonham Carter, who was the Liberal victor of the 1958 by-election at Torrington and Raymond Bonham Carter, who was the father of actress Helena Bonham Carter. In 1938, she married Jo Grimond.[2] The couple had four children:

  • (Joseph) Andrew Grimond (26 March 1939 – 23 March 1966),[3] a sub-editor of The Scotsman, lived in Edinburgh until his suicide at the age of 26.
  • Grizelda "Gelda" (Jane) Grimond (1942-2017), who had a daughter Katherine (b. 1973) by the film and stage director Tony Richardson.
  • John (Jasper) Grimond (born October 1946), a former foreign editor of The Economist as Johnny Grimond, now writer at large for the publication, who in 1973 married Kate Fleming (b. 1946), elder daughter of the writer Peter Fleming and actress Celia Johnson, and has three children with her. He is the main author of The Economist Style Guide[4]
  • (Thomas) Magnus Grimond (born 13 June 1959),[5][incomplete short citation] journalist and financial correspondent, married to travel author Laura Grimond (née Raison), and has four children.

Political careerEdit

Laura Grimond was Liberal candidate for the West Aberdeenshire division at the 1970 General Election. West Aberdeenshire was a seat the Liberals had gained from the Conservatives at the previous general election. The Liberal victor James Davidson decided not to defend his seat and instead campaigned for Laura Grimond. Her prospects of holding the seat lessened when a SNP candidate intervened in the contest. However The Times, the Conservative leaning national newspaper made a point of endorsing her by name; through "an invocation of 'the Asquith ideal', which called strenuously for more Liberal MPs and in particular for Mrs Laura Grimond."[6] In a difficult election for the Liberal Party nationwide, the Conservatives regained the seat, beating her by over 5,000 votes. She did not stand for parliament again.[7] She continued to be active for the Liberal Party at a national level; From 1983-1985 she was President of the Women's Liberal Federation. Three times during the mid 1980s she appeared as a party spokesperson on BBC's Question Time. She was also politically active locally in Orkney; She was a Councillor for Firth & Harray and Chairman of Orkney Islands Council's Housing Committee.[8]

Electoral recordEdit

General Election 1970: West Aberdeenshire[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Colin Campbell Mitchell 18,396 46.6 +6.9
Liberal Laura Miranda Grimond 12,847 32.5 -10.7
Labour Walter W Hay 6,141 15.5 -1.6
SNP John G McKinlay 2,112 5.3 n/a
Majority 5,549 14.1 17.6
Turnout 39,496 75.0
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +8.8


In 1968 Laura Grimond was a co-founder of the Orkney Heritage Society.[10]


  1. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
  2. ^ ‘GRIMOND’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 30 Nov 2016
  3. ^ "Hon. Laura Miranda Bonham Carter".
  4. ^ "The Hon. John Grimond". Archived from the original on 2013-06-12.
  5. ^ Barberis 2005, p. 81.
  6. ^ The British General Election of 1970 by Butler & Pinto Duschinsky, page 249
  7. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1974-1983, FWS Craig
  8. ^ Obituary: Laura Grimond, The Independent 17 February 1994
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Laura Grimond, Registered Charity no. SC004033". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Elizabeth Sidney
President of the Women's Liberal Federation
Succeeded by
Christina Baron