He was Chief Librarian of the Labour Party from 1987 to 1992.
He was Political Secretary/Director of Political Operations at 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair from 2005–2007, where he provided political management and support for the development of the government's political strategy.
- Totaro, Paola (2012-05-06). "Julia's master of spin". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "John McTernan". London. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- "Honours probe quiz for No 10 aide", BBC News Scotland, 24 January 2007
- "Blair aide sent to stem SNP tide", The Scotsman, 16 January 2007
- "Now Holyrood election chief quizzed in peerages inquiry", The Scotsman, 24 January 2007
- Stratton, Allegra (2011-09-28). "Allegra Stratton's conference diary: Ed and Ed learn tough lessons from Blair and Brown". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- John McTernan columns for The Scotsman
- Daily Telegraph blog