Eldon Griffiths

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Person.png Eldon Griffiths   IMDBRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(editor, politician)
Sir Eldon Griffiths.jpg
Born25 May 1925
Wigan, Lancashire, England
Died3 June 2014 (Age 89)
Alma materEmmanuel College (Cambridge), Yale University
Member ofLe Cercle

Sir Eldon Wylie Griffiths was a British Conservative politician and journalist. Eldon Griffiths attended a 1985 meeting of Le Cercle in Washington D.C.[1]


Griffiths was born on 25 May 1925 in Wigan, Lancashire, UK.[2] His Welsh father was a police sergeant. He attended Ashton Grammar School. After World War II service in the Royal Air Force he gained a double first class degree in history from Emmanuel College (Cambridge) and an MA from Yale University.[3][4]


After university Griffiths worked in the Conservative Research Department and became a journalist and farmer. He entered journalism at the top, at Newsweek, where he was Foreign Editor (1959-61) then Chief Foreign Correspondent (1961-63), as well as contributing to the Telegraph and Express.[5]

He became the MP for Bury St Edmunds after a by-election in 1964, and represented the seat until he retired in 1992. His Telegraph obituary claimed he was "rangy, articulate, but dour, (Griffiths was) a political loner, and not over-popular on the Tory benches" However it listed many achievements as MP and in other spheres.[6] He was a junior minister for Environment and Sport during the Edward Heath government of 1970 to 1974. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs select committee.[7] But by 1976, at 41, he was finished politically.[5]

Griffiths embraced a number of other traditional Tory topics: he was against sanctions on South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe); he backed the American war in Vietnam; he defended the right of sportsmen and women to participate wherever they wished without political interference, denounced the anti-apartheid campaign[5], and he was an early advocate of the reintroduction of internment in Northern Ireland. He held strong views on defence, applauded the 1986 US bombing of Libya and enthusiastically backed the siting of American missiles in Britain.[4]

With his academic credentials, American connections, press experience and good looks, Griffiths looked cast for a career in high places. His interesting failure was not to hold the steady run of junior posts, and it is not obviously explained. There was no scandal and there was not, as with some disappointed MPs, an ideological glass wall of disagreement with the leadership. Almost certainly the elder group of liberal Tories like William Whitelaw and Lord Carrington, who carried weight on appointments, would have been unsympathetic to Griffiths. Even so, total exclusion from all office, including the decent lower ranks, is striking.[5]

He was also parliamentary spokesman for the Police Federation. He was known around the Commons as “Voice of the Force” and “Policemen’s mouthpiece”.[8] Throughout his time at Westminster he attempted to secure the restoration of capital punishment, specifically for the murder of police officers.[4] In 1985, he was made a Knight Bachelor for "political service".[9]


Griffiths was a director of one of Gerald Carroll's ill-fated Carroll Group companies.[10]


Event Participated in

Le Cercle/1985 (Washington)7 January 198510 January 1985US
Washington DC
4 day meeting of Le Cercle in Washington exposed after Joel Van der Reijden discovered the attendee list for this conference and published it online in 2011
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