Charles Benedict Ingram, usually referred to as Benedict Ingram (b. July 13, 1940) is a Georgeland politician, academic and economist, who served as leader of the Conservative Party of Georgeland from 1999 until 2001. He was the defeated candidate for Prime Minister of Georgeland at the 2001 general election against Michael Elderton. His term as Leader of the Opposition was noted as a 'transition' period for the Tories - while he failed to win the election, his party won enough seats to deny the government a majority and generally marked the 'return to grace' of the Tories and saw them become, once again, a viable political force and alternative government.
Ingram was born in Santa Christina in 1940, the son of a naval officer killed during World War 2. He was raised by his mother, and lived for a time in Topstad before entering university. Ingram studied economics at Oxford and began a distinguished career as an economic theorist. He became Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Santa Christina from 1983 until 1994, when he was elected to the Georgeland House of Commons for the safe Tory seat of Cambridge, which he held until 2001. In 1996 he became Shadow Minister for Economic Reform, a position he held until 1998, when he was made Shadow Treasurer. In 1999, when the Conservatives were appointed to government on a caretaker basis - Ingram served as Treasurer. The Tories lost the election, and Fisch resigned as leader. Initially reluctant to stand, Ingram eventually ran against Mary Byrne for the leadership and won. He was regarded as a respectable, somewhat gentlemanly academic as leader, and his unusual habit of smoking a pipe captured the public imagination to some degree, as did his articulate and erudite way of speaking. Ultimately, however, Ingram lost the 2001 election, and resigned the leadership shortly afterwards, declaring he had "had his shot". He returned to the academic life, becoming Professor of Economic Theory at the University of West Mainland in 2002.
Ingram was considered to be a 'traditional' Tory, and was firmly against socially progressive legislation such as the legalisation of abortion and same-sex marriage. He was also an economic 'dry' in the Thatcherite mould. Since leaving office, however, Ingram seems to have moved towards the centre. He supported Luke Macaulay's ultimately successful bid to become Tory leader; though ideologically different, Ingram declared Macaulay to be "the best the new generation has to offer and the best chance the Party can hope for."