Charles Wardle

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Charles Wardle
Member of Parliament
for Bexhill and Battle
In office
9 June 1983 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Constituency Established
Succeeded by Gregory Barker
Personal details
Born (1939-08-23) 23 August 1939 (age 78)
Nationality British
Political party Independent
Other political
Conservative Party (until 2001)

Charles Frederick Wardle (born 23 August 1939) was a Conservative Party member of the British Parliament for Bexhill and Battle between 1983 and 2001. For a brief period before standing down in 2001, he sat as an independent after the Conservative whip was withdrawn.


Wardle was educated at Tonbridge School, where he boarded at School House,[1] followed by Lincoln College, Oxford and Harvard Business School.[2]

Life and career[edit]

In the Conservative government, Wardle had been an immigration minister under the then-Home Secretary, Michael Howard.[3] Wardle announced he would not contest the 2001 election in early 2000 after it was disclosed that he was doing consultancy for Mohammed Al-Fayed.[4] In April 2001 he announced he would support an "independent Conservative" candidate for his seat against the official Conservative candidate, Greg Barker, in the 2001 General Election. As a result, the party withdrew the whip, and he sat as an independent for the rest of the Parliament.[5] In the event, Wardle supported the United Kingdom Independence Party's (UKIP) Nigel Farage in that election.[6] His endorsement had little effect, with the new Conservative candidate taking the same share of the vote that Wardle had in 1997.

After leaving Parliament, Wardle took up a £120,000 post as an adviser to the controversial Mohamed Fayed, the previous owner of the Harrods department store, whose allegations about political corruption helped to bring down John Major's Conservative government. Wardle then left the board of Harrods just four months after joining[7]

In the 2005 general election, he appeared with the Labour Party to denounce his former boss's plans on immigration and to endorse Labour.[3]


  1. ^ October 2005 Reunion Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Publisher: Old Tonbridgian Society of Tonbridge School; retrieved 4 January 2013.
  2. ^ Charles Wardle: Electoral history and profile Publisher: The Guardian online; retrieved 4 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b Barkham, Patrick. "Howard ratchets up immigration rhetoric". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Watt, Nicholas. "Nasty Tory faction led me to quit, says MP who took Harrods job". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Watt, Nicholas (2001-04-12). "Ex-minister stripped of Tory whip". London: The Guardian. 
  6. ^ White, Michael (2001-05-08). "Sacked Tory to back UKIP candidate". London: The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Leonard, Tom (3 November 2001). "Former MP Wardle leaves Fayed post". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Bexhill and Battle
Succeeded by
Greg Barker