Charles Irving

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For the Lieutenant-Governor of Penang, see Charles John Irving.
Sir
Charles Irving
Member of Parliament
for Cheltenham
In office
10 October 1974 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Douglas Dodds-Parker
Succeeded by Nigel Jones
Personal details
Born (1924-05-06)May 6, 1924
Died March 30, 1995(1995-03-30) (aged 70)
Political party Conservative

Sir Charles Graham Irving (6 May 1924 – 30 March 1995) was a British Conservative Member of Parliament for Cheltenham.

Early life[edit]

Irving was born into a hotel-owning family in Cheltenham, its flagship being the Irving Hotel on Bath Road, of which he became Chairman in 1949.[1]

He was educated at Glengarth School, in Cheltenham, and Lucton, near Hereford, at both of which "he evinced no academic bent". When he left school during World War II he tried to join the Army but was turned down on the grounds of being "insufficiently robust". He served in the Home Guard, but was "a good deal less than successful in those ranks, the highlight of his career being the accidental stabbing of a colleague in the hindquarters with a bayonet".[1]

Political career[edit]

His political career began in 1947 when he was elected to Cheltenham Borough Council. The following year he was elected to Gloucestershire County Council. He was Mayor of Cheltenham 1958–1960 and again 1971–1972.

Having unsuccessfully contested Bilston in 1970 and Kingswood in February 1974, he became an MP in October 1974 at his third attempt and represented Cheltenham until his retirement in 1992. During this time he was Chairman of the Select Committee on Catering from 1979 until 1992 and a member of the All Party Mental Health Committee 1979–1992. Irving was knighted in 1990.[1]

Sir Charles was not afraid to stand up to the Prime Minister of the day, Margaret Thatcher, particularly over the decision to de-unionise Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) a body located within his Cheltenham constituency, but he was also a great admirer of Thatcher from the day she was elected leader of the Conservative Party until she resigned as Prime Minister fifteen years later, Irving paid to have fresh flowers delivered to her.

Personal life[edit]

According to Michael McManus's book on the history of Conservative attitudes to homosexuality, Irving was gay[2] and he is reported to have offered a steady stream of advice to the Conservative Campaign for Homosexual Equality.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Patrick Cosgrave (3 April 1995). "Obituary of Charles Irving". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  2. ^ a b McManus, Michael (2011). Tory Pride and Prejudice: the Conservative Party and Homosexual Law Reform. London: Biteback. p. 92. ISBN 1849540799. 
  • Times Guide to the House of Commons 1987 and 1992 editions, www.angeltowns.com

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Douglas Dodds-Parker
Member of Parliament for Cheltenham
19741992
Succeeded by
Nigel Jones