Loughton addressing a Commonwealth event in Perth, Australia
17 August 1987
|Alma mater||University of Stirling|
|Known for||Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, Scottish Youth Parliament|
John Roddy Loughton (born 17 August 1987) is a youth leader, civil society activist and motivational speaker who became prominent when he appeared on and won the British reality show Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack in 2008. Loughton has also fulfilled notable international duties including representing the United Kingdom at EU Presidency Events, G8 and G20 Summits in Washington DC and addressing Commonwealth Heads of State in Australia 2011 at CHOGM. In 2012, he was appointed to the Advisory Council of the Scottish Human Rights Commission.
John Loughton is Founder and CEO of the leadership development social enterprise Dare2Lead. Loughton has been a local, national and international youth leader, social entrepreneur and public affairs professional for over a decade having campaigned from the age of 11. In August 2013, John Loughton was named Outstanding Youth of the World 2013 in Rio de Janeiro by the World Junior Chamber of Industry. In 2007 Loughton was elected as the chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament and appointed as vice convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Children and Young People Committee. Loughton played a leading role in setting up and running the CIVICUS Youth Assembly in partnership with Oxfam, bringing together over 200 young leaders from across 70 countries to debate global development issues. In 2011 he was appointed UK Planning representative to the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Australia and went on to represent 1.2 billion young people when he addressed 54 heads of state at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
He has served (in spite of his age) as Head of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships at leading UK NGO Relate, Parliamentary Manager at forefront youth organisation The Prince's Trust/ Fairbridge (founded by HRH The Prince of Wales) and has worked for a number of Parliaments and Governments in a number of senior capacities. Appointed by the British Prime Minister, Loughton served as a member on the Commission on Scottish Devolution, Britain’s Literacy Commission and is chair of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council's Action Group. In 2012, Loughton was appointed as a member of the high level Advisory Council to the Scottish Human Rights Commission.
Loughton comes from North Edinburgh. He attended Inchview Primary School then Craigroyston Community High School. He then went on to study for an honours degree, studying politics and social policy at the University of Stirling, before in 2007 committing fully when elected chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament.
Loughton has led a high-profile international career spanning a number of years. He represented the United Kingdom at various international conferences including the Austrian and Portuguese European Union Summits. Loughton has also designed and delivered youth leadership training in countries such as Sri Lanka, Malawi, Singapore, France, Portugal, Australia and is founded a bilateral young leaders exchange between the UK and Sri Lanka and a Young Health Leaders programme with Turkey.
He is chairman of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council's Youth Action Group and a member of their board of directors. Loughton represented the United Kingdom at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011 in Perth, Western Australia. This involved serving as an International Planning Group Representative for the Commonwealth Youth Forum - bringing together 150 young leaders from across the 54 Commonwealth member states. He was also selected as British Prime Minister for the Youth Diplomatic Service, to attend the G8 and G20 summits in Washington DC in June 2012. Loughton is also a graduate of the prestigious United Nations UNESCO World Leaders Fellowship Programme, having taken part in their event at the University of Connecticut.
Loughton was recognised in 2004 for his contribution to the community by being presented with the Evening News award for "Community Involvement" and was named runner up as National Charity Champion of the year in 2008. He was also a finalist for the highly regarded Spirit of London Awards 2012 - held at London's O2 Arena to a 10,000 strong audience.
Big Brother Celebrity Hijack
In 2008, Loughton became a contestant on Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack. Loughton appeared on the show following an approach from Endemol Production Company during a national search for Britain's most "talented and inspirational" young people. He cites dispelling the negative stereotypes of young people in the media and galvanising interest in politics to a wider audience as the main reasons for appearing on the show. On the first day of the series, Loughton was given a hidden earpiece to wear, unbeknown to his fellow housemates. Comedian and star of Little Britain Matt Lucas then relayed a number of joking instructions to Loughton, which he followed, much to Lucas's amusement and his fellow contestants' incredulity. During his time in the house, Loughton also worked with public figures such as Russell Brand, Radio One DJ Chris Moyles, the Sugababes, Chef Gordon Ramsay and artist Brian Sewell.
After Big Brother, Loughton continued to make regular media appearances and campaigned and promoted a range of issues including banning The Mosquito device, ending child poverty, and calling for votes at 16. Loughton also appeared on BBC's Question Time extra show, starred in a CBBC political series and regularly voiced views on the national news and publications. He also completed his term as the chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament before taking up position at the Scottish office of the welfare charity Fairbridge as its policy and communications manager, going on to be promoted to Fairbridge UK's head of policy.
Loughton has supported the Liberal Democrats - and member since 2009 - after spending time outside of party politics in order to fully commit to civil society work. Loughton authored a policy commentary chapter on "Building a Fairer Scotland" within a publication entitled "Why Vote Lib Dem" alongside Rt Hon Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and The King's Speech actor Colin Firth.
He has engaged in multiple election campaigns, both as candidate and activist spanning the Scottish and British Parliaments as well as local council. In 2012, Loughton was himself appointed by the UK Party's headquarters to sit as a member of their 2015 Manifesto Policy Working Group looking at Employment and Wellbeing policies. Member of the British House of Lords, Baroness Claire Tyler of Enfield serves as chair of this body. Loughton has also supported many local candidates himself including Kevin Lang, in the 2010 UK general election in the constituency of Edinburgh North and Leith where Loughton himself is from.
Although a Liberal Democrat, Loughton himself has developed strong relationships with key figures right across the political spectrum. He frequently works with government representatives across all parties and prioritises the politics of social justice and development issues.
- Founding Director, Dare2Lead
- International Planning Group representative to Commonwealth Youth Forum 2011, Australia
- Europe and African Youth Spokesperson to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011, Australia
- UK Prime Minister to G8 and G20 Summits in Washington DC 2012, Youth Diplomatic Service
- Co-Founder, North Edinburgh Young People's Forum
- Director, North Edinburgh Trust
- 2004 Edinburgh Evening News Award winner for "Community Involvement"
- Finalist for Spirit of London Awards, London's O2 Arena
- Participant, UNESCO World Leaders Intergenerational Programme, University of Connecticut, USA
- Represented the United Kingdom at the European Union Presidency Summit, Lisbon Portugal
- Ambassador, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
- Finalist, Scottish Charity Champion of the Year award, 2008
- Member, Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution
- Chairman, Scottish Youth Parliament 2007-08
- Chair, CYEC Commonwealth Youth Action Group
- Trustee, Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council Board of Directors