John Kampfner

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John Kampfner at the Festival of Economics 2010 in Trento, Italy

John Paul Kampfner (born 27 December 1962) is a British journalist who was editor of the weekly political magazine the New Statesman between 2005 and 2008.[1] During that time he took the magazine's circulation to a 25-year high,[1] winning a string of awards including Current Affairs Editor of the Year in 2006.[2]

Early life[edit]

Kampfner was born in Singapore,[3] but his family left when he was very young. He has a Jewish father.[4] He was educated at The Hall School Hampstead then Westminster School, a boys' independent school in London and at The Queen's College, Oxford where he did a BA in Modern History and Russian.[citation needed]


Kampfner was a foreign correspondent in Moscow and Berlin for nearly a decade, for Reuters from 1984-99[citation needed] and the Daily Telegraph from 1989-91.[citation needed] Subsequently he became a political correspondent and commentator for the Financial Times[5] and the BBC,[5] and the political editor of the New Statesman[1][5] before he became editor.

He became Chief Executive of Index on Censorship in 2008 and remained in that role until 2012.[5] Since leaving Index on Censorship he has been employed as a part-time consultant with Google[6] and has become European Advisor to the Global Network Initiative.[7] He is also Chair of Turner Contemporary,[5] the largest visual arts project in the south-east of England outside London[citation needed] (in Margate).

Additionally, Kampfner has contributed several BBC documentaries, his two-part series on the Middle Eastern conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, The Dirty War,[8] won him Journalist of the Year[8] and Film of the Year from the Foreign Press Association in 2002.[8] He is a lay member of the governing council of King's College London.[9]


As an author Kampfner's works include Inside Yeltsin's Russia: Corruption, Conflict, Capitalism,[10] a biography of former Labour Foreign Secretary Robin Cook,[11] and a study of Tony Blair's interventionist foreign policy Blair's Wars.[12] His book Freedom For Sale: How We Made Money And Lost Our Liberty was published in September 2009 and is an analysis of the seeming abandonment of liberty in the names of democracy and capitalism.[13] The book was shortlisted for the Orwell Book prize in April 2010.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Kampfner married the BBC journalist Lucy Ash in 1992.[15] The couple have two children and live in London.[15] He is a big Chelsea fan.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Brook, Stephen (13 February 2008). "New Statesman editor departs". Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Plunkett, John (15 November 2006). "Observer double as Brett is honoured by editors". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Kampfner, John (2009). Freedom for sale. London: Simon & Schuster. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-41652-604-9. 
  4. ^ Bright, Martin (March 3, 2011). "Julian Assange, you need to explain". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Mr John Kampfner". King's College London. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Greenslade, Roy (6 February 2012). "Index on Censorship chief moves to Google". Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "John Kampfner". Global Network Initiative. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "John Kampfner". Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Members: Mr John Kampfner", King's College London
  10. ^ "Inside Yeltsin's Russia : corruption, conflict, capitalism / John Kampfner.". NLA Trove. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Langdon, Julia (26 September 1998). "The Saturday Profile: Labour's falling star". Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Sands, Philippe (28 September 2003). "Handmaiden at the court of George W Bush". The Observer. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Preston, Peter (13 September 2009). "Freedom for Sale by John Kampfner". The Observer. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  14. ^ Leach, Anna (15 April 2010). "Orwell prize shortlist announced". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Kampfner, John (23 July 2006). "My week". The Observer. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Kampfner, John. "Author Revealed". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Peter Wilby
Editor of the New Statesman
Succeeded by
Jason Cowley