Daniel 'Danny' William Finkelstein, Baron Finkelstein of Pinner OBE (born 30 August 1962) is a British journalist and politician. He is a former Executive Editor of The Times, but remains a weekly political columnist and is now associate editor. He is a former chairman of Policy Exchange who was succeeded by David Frum in 2014. It was announced that he would be elevated to the House of Lords in August 2013.
Finkelstein is Jewish; his mother was a Holocaust survivor, while his father Ludwik Finkelstein OBE was born in Lviv, then in Poland, and became Professor of Measurement and Instrumentation at City University London. He is a grandson of Dr. Alfred Wiener, the Jewish activist and founder of the Wiener Library. He is the brother of Prof. Anthony Finkelstein FREng, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London. He was educated at University College School, the London School of Economics (BSc, 1984) and City University London (MSc, 1986). Daniel has 3 children: Aron, Isaac and Samuel.
Between 1981 and 1990 Daniel Finkelstein was a member of the SDP, becoming Chair of the Young Social Democrats on the defection of his predecessor Keith Toussaint to the Conservative Party during the 1983 general election campaign. Subsequently he was elected youth representative on its National Committee, selected as a Parliamentary candidate (Brent East 1987) and became a close ally and adviser to David Owen, the SDP leader. When the merger with the Liberal Party was proposed, Finkelstein was among the leading opponents and refused to join the merged party. After Owen had announced his resignation from politics, Finkelstein was the spokesman for a group of young SDP members who joined the Conservative Party.
Before working for the Conservative Party, Daniel Finkelstein was Director of the think tank the Social Market Foundation for three years. During his period with the SMF the organisation brought New York police commissioner Bill Bratton to London, for the first time introducing UK politicians to the successful new strategies being used there.
Between 1995 and 1997 Finkelstein was Director of the Conservative Research Department and in that capacity advised Prime Minister John Major and attended meetings of the Cabinet when it sat in political session. Finkelstein became among the earliest advocates of the 'modernisation' of the Conservative Party, laying out the principles of change in a series of speeches and columns in The Times.
Between 1990 and 1992, Finkelstein was the editor of Connexion, Britain's first internet and data communications newspaper. Finkelstein joined The Times in August 2001 as part of the leader writing team and was Comment Editor from March 2004 to June 2008. He became Chief Leader Writer in June 2008. He began The Times blog Comment Central in September 2006. He is also a regular columnist in The Jewish Chronicle. His weekly football statistics column, the Fink Tank, began in 2002 and runs in The Times on Saturdays.
Honours and awards
Finkelstein was awarded the OBE in the 1997 honours list. In 2011 Daniel Finkelstein was awarded the "PSA 2011 Journalist of the Year Award". It was announced at the beginning of August 2013 that Finkelstein was to be made a life peer. He was created Baron Finkelstein, of Pinner in the County of Middlesex on 11 September 2013.
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