Andreas Whittam Smith

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Sir Andreas Whittam Smith
Born 13 June 1937
Macclesfield, Cheshire, England
Nationality British
Occupation Journalist
Newspaper editor

Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, CBE (born Macclesfield 13 June 1937)[1] is an English financial journalist, who was one of the founders of The Independent newspaper which began publication in October 1986 with Whittam Smith as editor. He is a former president of the British Board of Film Classification.

The son of an Anglican clergyman in the Diocese of Chester, he moved from Macclesfield to Birkenhead in 1940.[2] He was educated at Birkenhead School, and Keble College, Oxford. Most of his career has been spent in the City in journalism, including as city editor of The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, and as editor of the Investors Chronicle and Stock Exchange Gazette. He was a founder and first editor of The Independent newspaper from 1986 to 1993.[3] He still contributes articles on a regular basis.

On 6 March 2002 The Queen approved Whittam Smith's appointment as First Church Estates Commissioner.[2] He was chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service from 2001 to 2003. He is also a director of Independent News and Media (UK), Vice Chairman of Tunbridge Wells Equitable Friendly Society, and a vice-president of the National Council for One Parent Families. He was appointed president of the British Board of Film Classification in 1998, instigating liberalisation of film and video censorship, a post from which he resigned in 2002.[4] He has been on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation.

Democracy 2015[edit]

In 2012 Whittam Smith started the Democracy 2015 movement to attempt to reform how British democracy functions.[5] The movement's stated aim was to achieve a House of Commons majority in 2015 and form a reformist government independent of parliamentary parties and composed of non-politicians volunteering to stand for a single term only. The movement stood a candidate, Adam Lotun, in the Corby by-election on 15 November 2012. He came 13th out of 14 candidates, with 35 votes.[6]


In 1988 he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) by the University of Bath.[7]

In 2003, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[8] In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was made a Knight Bachelor, and therefore granted the title 'sir, 'for public service, particularly to the Church of England'.[9]


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Why I am still an Anglican, Continuum, 2006, page 67
  3. ^ "New British newspaper takes on 'Qualities' in quest for readers". The Post and Courier. 7 October 1986. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Andreas Whittam Smith steps down as President of the BBFC". BBFC. 6 March 2002. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Whittam Smith, Andreas (5 September 2012). "How you can bring our ailing democracy back to life". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "By-elections: Labour takes Corby from Conservatives". BBC Online. 16 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1966 to 1988". University of Bath. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Stones frontman becomes Sir Mick". BBC News. 12 December 2003. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61256. p. B2. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
(founding editor)
Editor of The Independent
1986 - 1993
Succeeded by
Ian Hargreaves
Preceded by
George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood
President of the British Board of Film Classification
1998 - 2002
Succeeded by
Quentin Thomas