Andrew Pierce

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For the American sprinter, see Andrew Pierce (athlete). For the American businessman and politician, see Andrew G. Pierce.
Andrew Pierce
Andrew Pierce, journalist.jpg
Born Patrick Connolly[1]
1961[2]
Bristol,[1] Avon
Residence Belsize Park,[3] London
Nationality British
Education St Joseph's Catholic School, Swindon
Occupation Journalist, editor, broadcaster
Employer Daily Mail
Known for

Consultant Editor, Daily Mail (Dec. 2009 - )
Fmr. Assistant Editor, The Daily Telegraph (Nov. 2006[4]

- Dec. 2009)
Fmr. Assistant Editor, The Times
Fmr. Political Editor, The Times
Journalist, features writer, author and broadcaster

Andrew Pierce (born 1961, Bristol), is a British journalist, editor, author and broadcaster.[5]

Early life[edit]

Pierce was born in 1961,[2] as Patrick Connolly, in the city of Bristol (in the former county of Avon), in South West England, and is the son of Margaret Connolly,[1] a devout Roman Catholic Irishwoman,[6] and an unknown father.[1] He spent the first two years of his life in Nazareth House, a Catholic orphanage in the spa town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire,[1] and was adopted by a family in the large town of Swindon in Wiltshire, in South West England, and brought up on a council estate there.[7] His adoptive father worked on the assembly line at British Leyland, a former state-owned car factory.[8]

Education[edit]

Pierce was educated at St Joseph's Roman Catholic School,[9] now known as St Joseph's Catholic College, a state comprehensive school in Pierce's home town of Swindon in Wiltshire. He did not go to university.[7]

Life and career[edit]

Pierce first became interested in politics as a first-time voter in 1979. He lived on a council estate, attended a local comprehensive school and worked part-time at a greengrocers' shop, whilst his adoptive father was an assembly line worker at British Leyland, a state-owned car factory in Swindon, which in the 1970s was beset by constant strikes and trade union militancy. Some of the worst militancy was characterised by the activities of Derek Robinson, a Communist-supporting trade union convenor and shop steward for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEEU), and known as Red Robbo. Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government introduced secret ballots for ordinary trade union members like his father, and elections of union leaders. It also gave council tenants the Right to Buy, and thereby own, their own homes. Although it was too late for his parents to buy their council home, they wanted their children to have that right. Pierce disagreed with some other pupils at his school, who regarded him as a 'class traitor' for supporting the Conservatives whilst he lived on a council estate, attended a comprehensive school and was the son of a factory worker. Pierce noted that some of the pupils most opposed to tenants' right to buy actually lived in privately-owned homes, and were strongly anti-Conservative. By contrast, Pierce saw the Conservatives as giving people from his background new rights, and that the Labour Party, financed and controlled by the trade unions, would not do so. He decided to become a journalist in order to highlight some of these issues.[8]

Pierce is a columnist and Consultant Editor for the Daily Mail newspaper,[10][11] and was previously Assistant Editor of The Daily Telegraph newspaper and Assistant Editor of The Times newspaper,[12] and also the paper's Political Editor. He recently celebrated 30 years in newspapers.

Pierce presented a Sunday morning political radio show on commercial radio station LBC 97.3 from 2008 until he left in 2012.[13] That radio programme was in the latter years presented as a double-headed show with Kevin Maguire from the Daily Mirror. Pierce and Maguire continue their highly popular double act reviewing, previewing and dissecting the media and politics on the BBC, ITV and Sky News. He started presenting a Saturday Breakfast show on LBC Radio from 22 March 2014.

In 2014 the Daily Mail had to pay damages to Kirsten Farage after Pierce in a column wrongly claimed she had been UKIP leader Nigel Farage's mistress while he was still married to his first wife.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Pierce was raised, and remains, a Roman Catholic.[15] He is openly gay, strongly supports civil partnerships, and lives in a long-term civil partnership, legalised by the Labour Government's Civil Partnership Act 2004. However, he was, and remains, opposed to same-sex marriage, legalised by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. He explained his opposition to its introduction as the lack of public support for it, the creation of a possible schism between Church and State, and that there were no new rights accorded to it that did not already exist under Labour's 2004 civil partnership law. He also cited the views of several prominent gay people opposed to it, such as Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, and those unsure about it, such as historian Dr. David Starkey, and its absence from the election manifestos of the political parties that introduced it.[16] He said it was therefore pointless to introduce it, and criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for treating it as a priority.[17]

Iris Prize[edit]

In 2007, Pierce became Patron of the Iris Prize, the city of Cardiff's International Gay and Lesbian Short Film Award, and in 2013 became its first Chair. In his introductory speech, he welcomed the range and quality of gay and lesbian films, and expressed the wish that their number would continue to grow.[18]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Parris, Matthew; Prosser, David; Pierce, Andrew (1995), Great parliamentary scandals: four centuries of calumny, smear and innuendo, Robson Books, ISBN 978-0-86051-957-7 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Andrew Pierce (27 January 2007). "Speaking as an adopted gay Catholic . . .". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Andrew Pierce (10 May 2013). "Embarrassing? Yes. Eye-watering? Definitely. ANDREW PIERCE was horrified to discover he had thinning hair but 55 excruciating injections (and wearing a hot water bottle) worked wonders". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Josh Pettitt (16 March 2013). "Cameron ‘going out of his way to upset Tory supporters’, says Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce". Ham & High News. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "The top 50 newsmakers of 2006 - 48. ANDREW PIERCE". The Independent newspaper. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "More about Andrew Pierce". LBC. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  6. ^ Andrew Pierce (3 February 2010). "Why I, as a gay man, agree with the Pope - Harriet Harman's equality mania only promotes intolerance". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Patrons - Andrew Pierce - Chair, Iris Prize". IrisPrize.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Andrew Pierce (15 April 2008). "How Margaret Thatcher won me over". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Compton Miller (27 June 2005). "Have you heard the latest? - The Times - Andrew Pierce". The Independent newspaper. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Plunkaid, John (9 December 2009). "Andrew Pierce to join Daily Mail: Daily Telegraph columnist and assistant editor to leave after three years to take new wide-ranging role". The Observer. 
  11. ^ Lloyd, Peter (9 December 2009). "Openly-gay journalist Andrew Pierce to join Daily Mail". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  12. ^ Brook, Stephen (17 July 2006). "5pm: Andrew Pierce to join Daily Telegraph". The Observer. 
  13. ^ "Gay journalist gets his own radio show". Pink News. Archived from the original on 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  14. ^ Dominic Ponsford (12 May 2014). "Daily Mail pays damages and legal costs to Farage wife after saying she was previously his 'mistress'". Press Gazette. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  15. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2592049/Why-gay-weddings-NOT-advance-cause-equality.html
  16. ^ AndrewPierce (12 June 2012). "I'm a gay man who opposes gay marriage. Does that make ME a bigot, Mr Cameron?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "The people who oppose the gay marriage law". BBC News. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "IRIS PRIZE - ANDREW PIERCE CONFIRMED AS CHAIR". IrisPrize.org. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 

External links[edit]