|Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee|
14 July 2005
|Preceded by||Sir Gerald Kaufman|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport|
19 June 2004 – 6 May 2005
|Preceded by||Julie Kirkbride|
|Succeeded by||Theresa May|
23 July 2002 – 8 December 2003
|Leader||Iain Duncan Smith|
|Preceded by||Tim Yeo|
|Succeeded by||Julie Kirkbride|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry|
18 September 2001 – 23 July 2002
|Leader||Iain Duncan Smith|
|Preceded by||David Heathcoat-Amory|
|Succeeded by||Tim Yeo|
|Member of Parliament
Maldon and East Chelmsford (1997-2010)
South Colchester and Maldon (1992-1997)
9 April 1992
|Preceded by||John Wakeham|
16 October 1959 |
Sherborne, Dorset, England
|Spouse(s)||Ancilla Murfitt (divorced); 2 children|
|Alma mater||University College London|
Whittingdale was educated at two independent schools: at Sandroyd School from 1968–1973, in Rushmore Park at the heart of Cranborne Chase near Tollard Royal in Wiltshire and at Winchester College in the county town of Winchester in Hampshire, followed by University College London (UCL) where he was Chairman of the UCL Conservative Society, and earned his BSc in Economics in 1982 (grade 2:2).
From 1982-4, Whittingdale was Head of the political section of the Conservative Research Department. He then served as Special Adviser to three successive Secretaries of State for Trade and Industry, Norman Tebbit, 1984-5; Leon Brittan, 1985-6, and Paul Channon, 1986-7. He worked on international privatisation at NM Rothschild in 1987 and in January 1988, became Political Secretary to the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Upon her resignation, Whittingdale received the OBE and he continued as her Political Secretary until his election to Parliament in 1992.
He was first elected to parliament in 1992. He served as PPS to Eric Forth as Minister of State for Education and Employment, but had to resign after voting against the government on an amendment that would have allowed a media publisher with more than 20 per cent of the national press market to buy an ITV company.
He was later shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary from 2004 until the reshuffle after the general election in 2005 when he was re-elected Member of Parliament for Maldon and Chelmsford East. In 2005 he was appointed to the Executive of Conservative Way Forward, a Thatcherite pressure group within the Conservative Party. He is on a member of the Council of the Freedom Association and the European Foundation. In 2008, he was elected as a Parliamentary Member of the Board of the Conservative Party and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary 1922 Committee. In 2011 he was Chairman of the Football Governance Inquiry. In 2012 he was Chairman of the Joint Parliamentar Committee on Privacy and Injunctions.
Media Select Committee
On 14 July 2005, he became the Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. In this role he led the Committee's 2009/2010 investigation into libel and privacy issues, including the News of the World phone hacking affair after the Guardian first revealed the extent of the practice at the News of the World. He was accused of warning members of the committee not to compel former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks to testify due to the risk that their personal lives would be investigated in revenge, but has strongly denied the accusation. In April 2011, he called for a public inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World and to why a series of investigations by Scotland Yard failed to link any News International employees to phone hacking other than the News of the World's former royal editor, Clive Goodman. Whittingdale said: "There are some very big questions. What I find [most] worrying is the apparent unwillingness of the police, who had the evidence and chose to do nothing with it. That's something that needs to be looked into."
With just one out of three of the senior executives agreeing to appear before the committee session on 19 July, Whittingdale took the rarely used step of issuing a summons to compel the Murdochs to attend. Whittingdale said select committees had taken such steps against individuals in the past and they had complied and continued "I hope very much that the Murdochs will respond similarly." They both did, on 19 July, in what one paper described as the most important select committee hearing in parliament's history.
For their work on the phone hacking scandal, John Whittingdale accepted the Spectator magazine's 2011 inquisitor of the year on behalf of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
Funding and Expenses
- "Democracy Live: Your representatives: John Whittingdale". BBC News. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Sandroyd School's list of Distinguished Alumni
- The Independent And the Real Winners Will Be..., 18 July 2011
- "The MPs who will take on the Murdochs". The Daily Telegraph (London). 18 July 2011.
- The Guardian report on hacking, 13 April 2011
- Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks to give evidence to Parliament
- The Guardian report on hacking scandal, 14 July 2011.
- Sparrow, Andrew; Owen, Paul; Wells, Matt (19 July 2011). "Phone hacking: Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks face MPs - Tuesday 19 July 2011". The Guardian (London).
- "John Whittingdale Conservative MP for Maldon". Retrieved 26 June 2013.
- "Mike Weatherley: MP and Iron Maiden fan". BBC News. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- John Whittingdale OBE MP official site
- Membership of Culture Media and Sport select committee
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- John Whittingdale collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- TV licence in March 2005
- Flood defences in October 2004
- UK fishing industry in January 2004
- BBC digital services in August 2003
- BBC's future in May 2003
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Colchester South and Maldon
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Maldon and East Chelmsford
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Maldon