Veronica Judith Colleton Wadley (born 28 February 1952) is a British journalist, who was editor of London's Evening Standard from February 2002 to February 2009, during which time it was owned by Associated Newspapers. She was the first female editor of the paper. After Alexander Lebedev acquired the Standard in 2009, he replaced her with former Tatler editor Geordie Greig.
Wadley was born in Chelsea and educated at the independent Francis Holland School in central London and at Benenden School in Kent. She was employed by Condé Nast (1971-74), working on Vogue, and subsequently the staff of The Telegraph colour magazine (1978-81) and the Mail on Sunday for five years before rejoining The Daily Telegraph in 1986, being appointed assistant editor in 1989. She has also worked on the Daily Mail.
During her time at the Standard, the newspaper was particularly critical of the then London Mayor, Ken Livingstone. This came to a head in the run-up to the 2008 London mayoral election, in which Wadley's newspaper aggressively attacked Livingstone each day. According to articles in The Guardian and Time Out London, she was strongly influenced by the need to renew Associated Newspaper's multi-million pound contract to deliver the Metro free paper in London Underground stations in 2010, a decision within the gift of the Mayor. A few months after Wadley left the Standard, the publication launched its "Sorry" promotion. "London is laughing at this ludicrous campaign", she claimed.The Guardian reported "The market research evidently discovered that Londoners considered the Standard to be too negative, not celebratory enough and guilty of failing to cater for the capital's needs. A great city with great facilities was being persistently talked down."
On 7 October 2009, it emerged that Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw had rejected London Mayor Boris Johnson's choice of Wadley as head of the London Arts Council. Bradshaw had been advised that the appointment broke rules established by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The Daily Telegraph reported on the 23 October that Johnson anticipated the rerun of the selection process would still result in Wadley gaining the post. Wadley applied again. In June 2010 she was appointed to the £6,400 30 day (maximum) a year job.
Veronica Wadley has been married to the investigative journalist Tom Bower since 1985 and the couple have two children, a boy and a girl, plus two stepsons from her husband's first marriage.
Notes and references
- "Veronica Wadley to step down", The Evening Standard, 2 February 2009. Retrieved on 2 February 2009
- Dennis Griffiths (ed.) "Wadley, Veronica" in The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1492-1992, London & Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992, p.575
- Chris Tryhorn "Livingstone: Daily Mail is reprehensible", The Guardian, 15 February 2005. Retrieved on 25 May 2007.
- Nicholas Watt and Sam Jones "Boris eyes Ken's crown, with the help of some powerful friends", The Guardian, Friday April 25, 2008, page 8, para 8.
- Veronica Wadley "Ex-Evening Standard editor Veronica Wadley's verdict on paper's new regime", The Guardian, 11 May 2009.
- Pulsating Battle to Rule the Arts
- Hélène Mulholland "Culture secretary blocks Boris Johnson's appointment of ex-Standard editor", The Guardian, 8 October 2009
- Rosa Prince "Boris Johnson: I will have Veronica Wadley in Arts Council post", Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2009
- Vanessa Thorpe "Veronica Wadley lands top Arts Council job – at the second attempt", The Guardian (website), 10 June 2010
|Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph
with Trevor Grove (1992–1994)
Simon Heffer (1994–1995)
Sir Max Hastings
|Editor of The Evening Standard
- "The Standard Bearer", interview in The Guardian, June 7, 2004