Sir Irvine Patnick
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
25 July 1990 – 20 July 1994
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded byDavid Lightbown
Succeeded byAndrew Mitchell
Member of Parliament
for Sheffield Hallam
In office
11 June 1987 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byJohn Osborn
Succeeded byRichard Allan
Personal details
Born(1929-10-29)29 October 1929
Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died30 December 2012(2012-12-30) (aged 83)
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Political partyConservative

Sir Cyril Irvine Patnick OBE (29 October 1929 – 30 December 2012[1][2]) was a British businessman and Conservative Party politician.

He was knighted in 1994.[3][4]

Early life

The second of four sons born to Aaron Michael Patnick and Bessie (née Levin) Patnick in Sheffield,[5] he was educated in Sheffield at the Central Technical School followed by Sheffield Polytechnic.[6] A building contractor, Patnick entered politics as a member of Sheffield City Council in 1967[7] and later of South Yorkshire County Council.

Parliamentary career

After unsuccessfully contesting Sheffield Hillsborough at the 1970 and 1979 general elections, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam in 1987. During his time as an MP he was a Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty's Treasury and deputy Chairman of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Select committee.[citation needed] He left politics after he lost his seat in the 1997 general election to the Liberal Democrat Richard Allan.

Patnick was on the right wing of the Conservative Party. He was against sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa, voted to reintroduce the death penalty, strongly supported the anti-homosexual Section 28 of the Local Government Act and, in a similar vein, opposed reducing the age of consent for homosexuals. He coined the phrase 'People's Republic of South Yorkshire' in reference to the policies of the Sheffield City Council under the direction of David Blunkett.[8]

He was the vice-president of Sheffield's Kingfield Synagogue, life president of Sheffield Jewish Representative Council, and a former national vice-chairman of the British Maccabi sports and youth organisation.[9] Patnick was also the chairman of trustees of The Trust for Research into Freemasonry, a charity established to support the Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at the University of Sheffield.[10]


Main article: Hillsborough disaster and The Sun

Patnick was one of the sources for The Sun newspaper's inaccurate coverage of the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989. In September 2012, the publication of the report by the independent panel investigating the disaster confirmed that "the source for these despicable untruths was a Sheffield news agency reporting conversations with South Yorkshire Police and Irvine Patnick, the then MP for Sheffield Hallam".[11] Earlier, Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie had said of his coverage: "It was a fundamental mistake. The mistake was I believed what an MP said".[12] The Daily Express also carried the story, under the headline "Police Accuse Drunken Fans" and giving Patnick's views, saying he had told Margaret Thatcher, who was being escorted by him on a tour of the grounds after the tragedy, of the "mayhem caused by drunks" and that policemen had told him that they were "hampered, harassed, punched and kicked".[13]

After the disclosure of Patnick's role in creating what Prime Minister David Cameron called an "unjust and untrue narrative that sought to blame the fans", Labour MP John Mann wrote to Cameron asking that Patnick be stripped of his knighthood for his "shameful and disgusting behaviour".[11][14] Patnick was also heavily criticised by the families of the dead, with the Hillsborough Justice Campaign stating that "It needs to be remembered that this man vilified Liverpool and was part of a lying machine which shamefully damaged the reputation of those fans."[15]

In a statement issued through the Conservative Party on 13 September 2012, Patnick accepted "responsibility for passing such information on without asking further questions. So, many years after this tragic event, I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the part I played in adding to the pain and suffering of the victims' families".[16][17]


Patnick died on 30 December 2012 in Sheffield[1] with his funeral taking place the following day.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Former MP Sir Irvine Patnick dies". BBC News. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  2. ^ "House of Commons beginning with "H"". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ Martin Wainwright Obituary: Irvine Patnick, The Guardian, 31 December 2012
  4. ^ Marsden, Sam (31 December 2012). "Former Tory MP Sir Irvine Patnick dies, aged 83". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. ^ Wainwright, Martin (31 December 2012). "Sir Irvine Patnick obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  6. ^ "PATNICK, Aaron Michael". Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Written Question: Councillor Irvine Patnick". Hansard. 31 October 1979. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  8. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 19 May 1997 (pt 17)". Retrieved 11 October 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Dysch, Marcus (13 September 2012). "Strip Patnick of knighthood says MP Mann". The Jewish Chronicle. London. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  10. ^ "The Trust for Research into Freemasonry" (PDF). Charity Commission for England and Wales. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Hillsborough report: Prime Minister David Cameron's statement in full". The Telegraph. London. 12 September 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  12. ^ Gibson, Owen (7 July 2004). "What the Sun said 15 years ago". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  13. ^ "Police Accuse Drunken Fans" (PDF). The Daily Express. London. 19 April 1989. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Hillsborough: Sir Irvine Patnick Should Lose Knighthood, Says MP". Huffington Post UK. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Irvine Patnick, the Tory MP who smeared Liverpool FC fans after the Hillsborough tragedy, dies aged 83". Liverpool Echo. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Sir Irvine Patnick: 'I totally accept responsibility for passing information'". ITV News. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Obituary: Sir Irvine Patnick". The Telegraph. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Tributes at funeral of ex Sheffield MP". The Star. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byJohn Osborn Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam 19871997 Succeeded byRichard Allan