William Armand Thomas Tristan Garel-Jones, Baron Garel-Jones, PC (born 28 February 1941) is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Watford from 1979–97, before being made a life peer in 1997.
Following his election to Parliament, Garel-Jones served in various whip positions and also as a junior minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
1 Early life
2 Parliamentary career
2.1 Whips Office
3 Other interests
4 Personal life
5 In popular culture
7 External links
Born in Gorseinon, Wales, son of Bernard Garel-Jones and Meriel (née Williams), he and his family moved first to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands prior to settling in Madrid, Spain, when he was seven years old. Garel-Jones was educated at the King's School, Canterbury. His parents established successful language schools in Spain during this time. He moved back to the United Kingdom and worked as a merchant banker prior to embarking on a career in politics.
Garel-Jones first contested Caernarvon in February 1974, but was defeated by the future leader of Plaid Cymru Dafydd Wigley. He was elected for Watford at the 1979 General Election.
Viewed as an effective whip who successfully delivered parliamentary votes in favour of Thatcher's legislation, Garel-Jones was nonetheless seen as a mixture of Machiavelli and Ivan the Terrible by the Thatcherite right-wing.
Mr Garel-Jones is said to be the inspiration for the fictional Whip turned PM, Francis Urquhart in House of Cards.
Garel-Jones was a leading pro-European and remained so despite the Conservative party moving to a more eurosceptic position by the end of the Thatcher era. This created suspicion among right-wing Thatcherites who thought of him as one of the "wets". However, he voted for Margaret Thatcher in the first round of the leadership challenge by Michael Heseltine, but reserved the right to vote against her if it went to a second round. He subsequently voted for Douglas Hurd.
After he stepped down from the House of Commons in 1997, he was given a life peerage as Baron Garel-Jones, of Watford in the County of Hertfordshire.
Garel-Jones is a well-known Hispanophile. A dedicated defender of bullfighting, he has worked as bullfighting critic. He is also a supporter of Humanists UK, and a vice chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group. He is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society,
In 1966, Garel-Jones married to Catalina Garrigues Carnicer, niece of the Spanish bullfighting critic Antonio Díaz-Cañabate . They have four sons and a daughter.
In popular culture
Garel-Jones was portrayed by Hugh Fraser in the 2004 BBC production of The Alan Clark Diaries, and by Guy Henry in 2009's Margaret.
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