CHARMING and intelligent are just two words that spring to mind when talking about Sir Michael Spicer, MP for West Worcestershire.

He became interested in politics while at Cambridge University when he was studying economics.

Back then, Sir Michael was a prominent national figure as he set-up a student organisation called Pressure for Economic and Social Toryism, or PEST, at the age of 20.

Little did he know this would become one of the largest student political groups in the country.

“I set it up at a time when the Conservatives were becoming very out of touch,” he said. “It was a rather radical student movement to freshen up the party.”

His interest in politics grew from this point and after graduating he joined Ted Heath’s team of staff, much to his father’s disappointment, who, as a military man wanted him to take the military scholarship he was given.

Sir Michael, aged 65, said: “I was always meant to go into the army. My father was an army officer but I got distracted in politics because I became interested in what was going on.”

He was working as the assistant editor of The Statist, the rival publication to the Economist, when Heath approached him.

He also freelanced for The Daily Mail and The Sunday Times, helping set-up their business sections, but he left journalism to go to Westminster in 1974.

By the age of 22, Sir Michael became the youngest parliamentary candidate in the country when he fought for a seat in County Durham against Manny Shinwell, the oldest candidate in the country.

But he lost this contest and was given the job of helping extend Conservative links with universities.

This led to him setting up the Conservative Systems Research Centre, which involved using computers for the first time ever for policymaking.

Sir Michael said: “It was highly sophisticated and used modern methods for inputting data into a policymaking operation. As director I learnt a great deal.”

He formed another company following this called Economic Models, which became one of the largest mathematical forecasting companies in the world.

But he sold the business 10 years later when went into Government.

He was elected at the 1974 general election as MP for south Worcestershire, which later changed to West Worcestershire when the former constituency was abolished and this is where he has remained.

A string of roles in Government then followed.

He became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Cecil Parkinson for the department of trade and industry and was made deputy chairman of the party in 1983.

Sir Michael said: “I was the only person that became a minster of Margaret Thatcher’s government on the day she came in and left on the last day of her government.”

In 1984, he became a Parliamentary Under Secretary (PUS) of State at the department of transport and was made minister of aviation, a role he served until 1987.

He said: “This was an extremely interesting job and saw the privatisation of British Airways and various big airports in the country.”

He then moved to the department of energy, again as a PUS, this time with responsibility for electricity and coal.

He did this for three years until 1990 when he was made minister of state for housing and planning but left the government payroll following the ousting of Margaret Thatcher in November that year.

But in 2001, Sir Michael was elected chairman of the 1922 committee and has served this position since.

He said he has no real regrets about his time in politics.

“It has be fulfilling,” he said. “I would not have had it any other way.

“I have not been to the very heights, but the depths of most things.”

The decision to build the Evesham by-pass - which he opened in 1985 - was one of the high points of his career at a local level.

He made the decision to do this when he was minster of roads and subsequently saw the arrival of the Sedgeberrow, Harvington and Broadway by-passes.

On a national level, he said he is particularly proud of the privatisation he made of various airports.

Outside of Parliament, Sir Michael has written a number of murder mystery novels and plans to write more when he retires at the next general election.