John Pardoe

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John Pardoe
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party
In office
7 July 1976 – 3 May 1979
LeaderDavid Steel
Preceded byDonald Wade
Succeeded byAlan Beith
Liberal Spokesperson for the Treasury
In office
June 1970 – 3 May 1979
LeaderJeremy Thorpe
Jo Grimond (Acting)
David Steel
Preceded byRichard Wainwright
Succeeded byRichard Wainwright
President of the Liberal Party
In office
LeaderJeremy Thorpe
Preceded byInga-Stina Robson
Succeeded byTrevor Jones
Member of Parliament
for North Cornwall
In office
31 March 1966 – 3 May 1979
Preceded byJames Scott-Hopkins
Succeeded byGerry Neale
Personal details
Born (1934-07-27) 27 July 1934 (age 85)
Political partyLiberal
Other political
Mebyon Kernow
Alma materCorpus Christi College, Cambridge

John Wentworth Pardoe (born 27 July 1934) is a retired British businessman and Liberal Party politician.


Pardoe attended King's College School, Cambridge where he was a chorister in the Choir of King's College, Cambridge.[1] He then went to Sherborne School, a boarding independent school for boys in the market town of Sherborne in Dorset, followed by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was active in the famous Footlights drama club; one critic of their 1955 revue panned future comedian Jonathan Miller whilst predicting a bold comedic future for Pardoe.

Liberal Party[edit]

In the 1964 general election, Pardoe stood as the Liberal candidate against Margaret Thatcher in Finchley.[2] In the 1966 election, the Liberal Party increased its number of MPs from nine to twelve: one of them was Pardoe, who captured the North Cornwall seat from the Conservative Party's James Scott-Hopkins. He rapidly became the party's Economic Affairs spokesman in parliament and was respected for the intellect of his views, if not for the often partisan nature of his comments.

In 1976, after the resignation of Jeremy Thorpe, Pardoe was a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party. He lost to David Steel, who received 12,541 votes to Pardoe's 7,032.

In 1978, John Pardoe MP played the fairy-tale Liberal prime minister in BBC Radio 4's Christmas Pantomime, Black Cinderella Two Goes East, on the basis that Liberal prime ministers exist only in fairy tales. The 'often partisan nature of his comments' became a running gag within the programme.

In the 1979 general election, he lost his seat, possibly because of his outspoken support for neighbouring MP Jeremy Thorpe, who was then about to stand trial at the Old Bailey for conspiracy and incitement to murder.

In the general election of 1987, Pardoe served as campaign manager of the SDP-Liberal Alliance.

In the 1960s, John Pardoe was a member of Mebyon Kernow as well as the Liberal Party.[3]


  1. ^ "What sweeter music?". What Sweeter Music. 24 December 1998. Event occurs at 12:00. BBC. BBC Radio 4.
  2. ^ Jenkins, Peter (25 March 2004). "Pardoe stands against Thatcher". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Mebyon Kernow history". Retrieved 29 April 2010.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Scott-Hopkins
Member of Parliament for North Cornwall
Succeeded by
Gerry Neale
Party political offices
Preceded by
Len Smith
Treasurer of the Liberal Party
1968 – 1969
Succeeded by
Frank Medlicott
Preceded by
Inga-Stina Robson
President of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Trevor Jones
Preceded by
Position re-created
Previous incumbent: Donald Wade
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Next incumbent: Alan Beith