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John Smith Memorial Mace

The John Smith Memorial Mace is one of the largest and most prestigious debating competitions in world, featuring over 200 teams across four national championships. Founded in 1954 the Mace is a UK and Ireland Championships, with England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland each holding competitions to choose a national winner, who then face each other in an International Grand Final.

Former winners include the late Donald DewarCharles KennedyBob Marshall-Andrews MPThe Rt Hon the Lord Hunt of WirralProfessor Anthony Clare, and the late Labour leader, John Smith, in whose honour the competition was renamed in 1995.

A full list of the winners of both the regional competitions and the International final can be found on the JSMM Wikipedia page.

The John Smith Memorial Mace in England is administered directly by ESU Speech and Debate, by the Competitions Officer Gareth Williams.

The Mace in Scotland is administered by ESU Scotland, and the convenor can be reached at 

The Mace in Wales is administered by a convenor who can be contacted at

In Ireland the competition is run by a convenor who is contactable at


Baillie Gifford is delighted to be sponsoring the English-Speaking Union John Smith Memorial Mace.

Since 1908 when Baillie Gifford was founded, the firm has been wholly owned by its partners. Through each successive generation of partners, our singular focus on generating superior long-term investment results for our clients has been the bedrock of our own growth. It allows us to put our clients' needs first. It brings stability and a long-term time frame to everything that we do in our business, whether choosing the best investments for our clients' portfolios or continually investing in the firm and developing our people.

It also brings independence, allowing us to be truly active investors. Our portfolios are shaped by where the best investment opportunities lie, rather than where the index dictates. It encourages personal responsibility, creating a strong culture of questioning, debate and respectful trust in which the finest investment minds are nurtured and thrive. You can learn more about us by visiting