Andrew Gilligan

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Andrew Gilligan beside the Thames outside City Hall.

Andrew Paul Gilligan (born 22 November 1968)[1] is a British journalist and radio presenter. He is best known for a 2003 report on BBC Radio 4's The Today Programme in which he described a British government briefing paper on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction (the September Dossier) as 'sexed up'.[2]

He was awarded Journalist of the Year in 2008 for his investigative reports on Ken Livingstone.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Gilligan was born in Teddington,[4] London and was educated at Grey Court School, Kingston College of Further Education and at St John's College, Cambridge, where he studied history[4] and was news editor of the student newspaper Varsity.[5] He was also a member of Cambridge Universities Labour Club.[6]


In 1994, he joined the Cambridge Evening News,[4] then in 1995 he moved to The Sunday Telegraph where he became a specialist reporter on defence.[3][4] In 1999, he was recruited by the editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Rod Liddle, as Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent.[4] In May 2003, Gilligan made a broadcast in which he claimed that the British Government had "sexed up" a report in order to exaggerate the WMD capabilities of Saddam Hussein.[7] Gilligan resigned from the BBC in 2004,[4] in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry, after Lord Hutton questioned the reliability of Gilligan's evidence.[8] Gilligan described the BBC collectively as the victim of a "grave injustice".[9]

After leaving the BBC in early 2004, Gilligan was offered a job at The Spectator by its editor, Boris Johnson,[10] who had been a key supporter of Gilligan during the Hutton Inquiry.[11][12] Later that year Gilligan joined the London Evening Standard.[3] He was named Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2008 for his work on the London Mayoral elections, described as "relentless investigative journalism at its best".[13]

Since 2009 Gilligan has been the London editor The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph,[3] where he also has a regular blog.[14] Gilligan was a reporter for Channel 4's investigative programme Dispatches, covering a number of issues, including an allegedly fundamentalist Islamic group in Tower Hamlets.[15]

On 22 November 2011, Gilligan criticised the Leveson Inquiry in an appearance before the House of Lords communications committee.[16] When asked about the main threats to investigative journalism in the foreseeable future, he argued "The most important threat is official restraint, by which I mean libel and privacy law, state surveillance, and the potential threat posed by the Leveson inquiry."[17] He wrote that the public still trusted the press,[18] and in the wake of the BBC's false linking of child abuse to Lord McAlpine he suggested Lord Leveson should take note.[19] Gilligan was cited in a submission to the Leveson enquiry.[20]

In January 2013, Gilligan was appointed as the Cycling Commissioner for London by the Mayor, Boris Johnson.[21] Accusations of "cronyism" were made following the appointment as Gilligan was considered instrumental in toppling the Mayor's main rival Ken Livingstone.[22][23][24] In March 2013, Gilligan became the host of the Sunday Politics show on LBC 97.3.[25]

In May 2016, the Telegraph had to apologise and pay substantial damages for defamation due to false claims made by Gilligan in a series of articles.[26] Gilligan's career with the Telegraph ended soon after. [27]

Press TV controversy[edit]

Gilligan presented a fortnightly programme for Press TV, the Iranian government's English-language TV channel. Rod Liddle challenged Gilligan in July 2009 about working for an "international propaganda channel run by the Iranian government".[28] Gilligan stopped his regular show in December 2009, though he appeared twice more on the network just before the UK's May 2010 general election. Gilligan attributed his decision to leave to the politics of Iran "that was inconsistent with my opposition to Islamism. I have not worked for Press TV since."[29]


  1. ^ "Andrew Gilligan". Telegraph. 20 July 2003. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Gilligan's report 'unfounded'". BBC. 28 January 2004. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Brook, Stephen (19 June 2009). "Andrew Gilligan to join the Telegraph". Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Profile: Andrew Gilligan". 30 January 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "About Varsity". Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Is it really grim up north? Andrew Gilligan
  7. ^ "David Kelly: timeline". Telegraph. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "'I have considerable doubts as to how reliable this journalist's evidence is'". Telegraph. 29 January 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Gilligan quits BBC over Hutton row BBC
  10. ^ "Gilligan offered job by the Spectator". Spectator. 11 February 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Dinner at Luigi's". Guardian. 11 January 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Andrew Gilligan: My war with Ken Livingstone". Independent. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "British Press Awards: Andrew Gilligan named journalist of the year". Press Gazette. 8 April 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  14. ^ Andrew Gilligan Telegraph blogs
  15. ^ "Dispatches – Britain's Islamic Republic". Channel 4. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Leveson inquiry criticised by Daily Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan John Plunkett
  17. ^ Investigative journalism: my testimony to the Lords' select committee Andrew Gilligan
  18. ^ Trust in the press has not died Andrew Gilligan
  19. ^ Newsnight was wrong, the BBC more so Andrew Gilligan
  20. ^ "Submission by the East London Mosque" (PDF). Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Andrew Gilligan to be London's 'cycling commissioner'". The Times. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Hugh Muir and Adam Bienkov. "Boris Johnson triggers fresh cronyism claims with Andrew Gilligan job | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  23. ^ New job for Andrew Gilligan ITV
  24. ^ Boris Johnson offers Andrew Gilligan role as cycling commissioner New Statesman
  25. ^ "Andrew Gilligan on LBC". Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "Poplar Town Hall owner Mujibul Islam receives apology and damages from The Telegraph in libel case". East London News. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Hearing Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph's London editor, is the latest name to go". 25 May 2016. 
  28. ^ Mehdi Hasan (22 November 2010). "The truth about Andrew Gilligan". New Statesman. London. 
  29. ^ "Mehdi Hasan: New Statesman's senior editor makes up quote". The Telegraph. London. 22 November 2010. 

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