Francis Irving

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This article is about the British computer programmer and activist. For the British glider pilot, see Frank Irving.
Francis Irving
Scraperwiki - Francis Irving - Flickr - Knight Foundation.jpg
Francis Irving
Education Oxford University
Occupation Chief Executive Officer

Francis Irving is a 40-year-old[when?] British computer programmer, activist for freedom of information and CEO of ScraperWiki.[1][2] [3]

Francis Irving developed TortoiseCVS.[4]

He co-founded Public Whip with Julian Todd and became a developer of the affiliated TheyWorkForYou website,[5] a project which parses raw Hansard data to track how members vote in the UK Parliament. Initially risking prosecution for re-using the raw data which was under Crown copyright, the developers of Public Whip were later successful in getting permission to use it.[6] In 2004, Public Whip was recognised in the New Media awards.[7] In 2008, The Daily Telegraph rated TheyWorkforYou 41st in a list of the 101 most useful websites.[8] Irving together with Matthew Somerville wrote the code for FixMyStreet.[9]

Irving was also a senior developer of PledgeBank.[10] He collaborated again with Julian Todd to create 'The Straight Choice a website (later renamed 'Election Leaflets') that archives election leaflets.[11][12]

He was the Campaign Director of the Save Parliament campaign which opposed the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.[13][14]

He was one of two people to suggest the winning idea of a site through which Freedom of Information Act requests could be made in a mySociety competition for ideas for public interest websites to build.[15] He was later to become the main developer of the site which was called WhatDoTheyKnow.[16] Francis has won seven New Statesman awards for websites he has worked on.[17]

Irving is currently CEO for ScraperWiki.[18]


  1. ^ Francis Irving,
  2. ^ Martin Rosenbaum (2010-06-09). "Open Secrets: Victory for whatdotheyknow website". BBC. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  3. ^$280,000-from-knight-foundation-2011062411352/
  4. ^ "Companies". TortoiseCVS. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  5. ^ The Silent State, Heather Brooke p128
  6. ^ Brook, Heather (8 June 2006). "Make it work for us, Ms Tullo". London: The Guardian. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived May 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Technology. "The 101 most useful websites". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". FixMyStreet. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  10. ^ Benjamin, Alison (10 January 2007). "Public inquiry". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  11. ^ Moore, Matthew (2009-05-15). "'British pensioners' on BNP election leaflet are actually Italian models". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Write to your Lord to Save Parliament | Save Parliament Blog". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  14. ^ "Francis Irving's CV / Resume". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  15. ^ "About". WhatDoTheyKnow. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  16. ^ "mySociety’s Freedom of Information site goes live". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  17. ^ "news:rewired » Francis Irving". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  18. ^ Irving, Francis (2011-05-05). "ScraperWiki: A story about two boys, web scraping and a worm | ScraperWikiScraperWiki". Retrieved 2014-01-05.