Nigel Jones, Baron Jones of Cheltenham

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The Lord Jones of Cheltenham
Official portrait of Lord Jones of Cheltenham crop 2.jpg
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
30 June 2005
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Cheltenham
In office
9 April 1992 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byCharles Irving
Succeeded byMartin Horwood
Personal details
Nigel David Jones

(1948-03-30) 30 March 1948 (age 73)
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Spouse(s)Katherine Grinnell

Nigel David Jones, Baron Jones of Cheltenham (born 30 March 1948 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire)[1] is a Liberal Democrat politician in the United Kingdom.

Early life[edit]

Nigel Jones attended Prince Henry's Grammar School, Evesham.[2] After leaving school, he worked as a computer operator for Westminster Bank from 1965 to 1967, and then as a computer programmer at International Computers Limited (ICL) from 1967 to 1970. From 1970 to 1971, he worked as a systems analyst at Vehicle and General Insurance, and as a systems programmer at Atkins Computing, before he rejoined ICL as a project manager in 1971.[2] From 1989, Jones was a councillor on Gloucestershire County Council. He resigned from both ICL and Gloucestershire County Council in 1992, when he was elected to Parliament.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Jones was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Cheltenham at the 1992 general election, winning the seat from the Conservative Party. He had previously contested the seat unsuccessfully at the 1979 general election.[2]

Jones was a member of the public accounts committee from 2002-05. He was also the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for a number of topics, including local government (1992–93), sport science and technology (1993), consumer affairs (1995-97), sport and culture (1997–99), trade and industry (1997–99) and international development (1999). Jones retained the seat until standing down at the 2005 general election.[2]


On 28 January 2000, a man called Robert Ashman entered Jones's constituency office and attacked him and his assistant, local councillor Andrew Pennington, with a katana. As a result of the attack, Pennington was killed and Jones was severely injured.[3][4] Jones required 57 stitches to close wounds to his hand from the assault.[5]

Jones had written a character reference for Ashman when Ashman was nearly jailed after breaking the ribs of a tax collector in 1992. After the attack at Jones's office, Ashman was charged with manslaughter and attempted murder, but the jury at his trial found him to be mentally unfit to stand trial.[6] Subsequently, detained in Broadmoor for observation, the Home Office authorised a further trial in September 2002. Ashman was subsequently found guilty of attempted murder and admitted to Pennington's manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in 2003.[7]

Pennington was posthumously awarded the George Medal for his attempts to protect Jones.[8]


On 13 May 2005, it was announced that Jones would be created a life peer, and he was subsequently elevated to the peerage on 20 June 2005 as Baron Jones of Cheltenham, of Cheltenham in the County of Gloucestershire.[9][10] As well as many outside interests, he acts as a non-executive consultant for BFC Marcomms Ltd, a Wiltshire-based public relations consultancy.

Personal life[edit]

Jones married Katherine Grinnell in 1981 at the British Embassy, Abu Dhabi. They have a son, Sam, and twin daughters, Amy and Lucy.


Coat of arms of Nigel Jones, Baron Jones of Cheltenham
Nigel Jones, Baron Jones of Cheltenham full heraldic achievement.svg
Coronet of a Baron
A demi Black Rhinoceros Vert armed and supporting with the feet a Welsh Triple Harp Or
Per pale Gules and Vert three Mice sejant Argent supporting with the forefeet an Abacus Or
On either side a Hippopotamus statant erect and with mouth agape that on the dexter Vert and that on the sinister Gules both tusked and gorged with an Ancient Crown attached thereto a Chain reflexed over the back Or
The mouse and abacus represent a computer. Hippos and rhino were a personal preference and the Welsh harp represents both Wales and the grantee's love of music.

In popular culture[edit]

In Official Secrets, a 2019 British-American docudrama film, Jones is portrayed by Chris Larkin.


  1. ^ GRO Register of Births: JUN 1948 7b 482 CHELTENHAM – Nigel D. Jones, mmn = Hughes
  2. ^ a b c d "Nigel Jones". Ask Aristotle. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Ashman: Family Man turned Killer". BBC News. 21 February 2001. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Politician died in 'sacrificial killing'". 19 February 2001 – via
  5. ^ Christopher Hope, Former MP attacked with sword fears for his safety after assailant tries to move in nearby, Telegraph (March 19, 2009).
  6. ^ "Sword man sent to secure hospital". BBC News. 21 February 2001. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  7. ^ "MP's sword attacker guilty". BBC News. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Medal for man who died saving MP". BBC News. 30 October 2001. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Data" (PDF). Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  10. ^ "No. 56374". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 October 2001. p. 12751.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Irving
Member of Parliament for Cheltenham
Succeeded by
Martin Horwood
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Chidgey
Baron Jones of Cheltenham
Followed by
The Lord Moonie