Andrew Gilligan

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Andrew Gilligan beside the Thames outside City Hall.

Andrew Paul Gilligan (born 22 November 1968) is a British journalist, currently senior correspondent of The Sunday Times and head of the Capital City Foundation at Policy Exchange.[1] Between 2013 and 2016 he also worked as cycling commissioner for London. 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] and was shortlisted for the award again in 2015 for investigations which helped cause the downfall of the politician, Lutfur Rahman.[4] He has also been a nominee for the Paul Foot Award,[5] the Orwell Prize[citation needed], the British Journalism Awards[6] and Foreign Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Gilligan was born in Teddington,[8] London, to catholic parents, Kevin and Ann. Kevin was formerly a councillor in Teddington and had graduated from UCL. Andrew was educated at Grey Court School, Kingston College of Further Education and at St John's College, Cambridge, where he studied history[8] and was news editor of the student newspaper Varsity.[9] He was also a member of Cambridge Universities Labour Club.[10]


In 1994, he joined the Cambridge Evening News,[8] then in 1995 he moved to The Sunday Telegraph where he became a specialist reporter on defence.[3][8] In 1999, he was recruited by the editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Rod Liddle, as Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent.[8] 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.[11]

Gilligan resigned from the BBC in 2004, in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry, after Lord Hutton questioned the reliability of Gilligan's evidence.[12]

After resigning from the BBC, Gilligan was offered a job at The Spectator by its editor, Boris Johnson,[13] who had been a key supporter of Gilligan during the Hutton Inquiry.[14] 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".[15]

Between 2007 and 2009 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".[16] 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."[17]

In 2009 Gilligan became London editor of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph,.[3] He was also a reporter for Channel 4's investigative programme Dispatches, covering a number of issues, including Rahman and his claimed involvement with the Islamic Forum of Europe in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.[18] He has also been a cover presenter for LBC radio.

On 22 November 2011, Gilligan criticised the Leveson Inquiry in an appearance before the House of Lords communications committee.[19]

In January 2013, Gilligan was appointed as the Cycling Commissioner for London by the Mayor, Boris Johnson.[20] Accusations of "cronyism" were made following the appointment as Gilligan was considered instrumental in toppling the Mayor's main rival Ken Livingstone.[21][22][23] He helped deliver London's first segregated cycle superhighways and was subsequently given an award by the London Cycling Campaign for his "outstanding contribution to cycling."[24]

In May 2016, the Telegraph apologised and paid substantial damages as part of an out-of-court settlement for defamation due to false claims made by Gilligan in a series of articles alleging corruption surrounding the purchase of Poplar Town Hall by businessman Mujibul Islam from Tower Hamlets Council when Rahman was mayor.[25] Gilligan's career with the Telegraph ended soon after.[26] He joined the Sunday Times in August 2016.[27]

In January 2018, the Sunday Times printed a retraction after an article by Gilligan incorrectly claimed that transgender charity Mermaids had been made subject to a court order banning it from contact with a child.[28][29]

In May 2018, The Sunday Telegraph paid “substantial damages” to Mohammed Kozbar, general secretary of Finsbury Park mosque following an article by Gilligan in March 2016. Kozbar successfully argued that the article was defamatory. The Sunday Telegraph removed the article from its website, published a ruling accepting the article was defamatory and paid damages. [30]


  1. ^ "About the Capital City Foundation". 
  2. ^ ""Full transcript of Andrew Gilligan's 'sexed up' broadcast"". 
  3. ^ a b c d Brook, Stephen (19 June 2009). "Andrew Gilligan to join the Telegraph". Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "2015 Press Awards shortlist". 
  5. ^ "Paul Foot Awards 2008". 
  6. ^ "Full list of finalists for British Journalism Awards revealed". 
  7. ^ "British Press Awards 2011". 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Profile: Andrew Gilligan". 30 January 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "About Varsity". Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Is it really grim up north? Andrew Gilligan
  11. ^ "David Kelly: timeline". Telegraph. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "'I have considerable doubts as to how reliable this journalist's evidence is'". Telegraph. 29 January 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Gilligan offered job by the Spectator". Spectator. 11 February 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Andrew Gilligan: My war with Ken Livingstone". Independent. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "British Press Awards: Andrew Gilligan named journalist of the year". Press Gazette. 8 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Journalists will be the next target of public anger, and rightly so". 
  17. ^ "Mehdi Hasan: New Statesman's senior editor makes up quote". The Telegraph. London. 22 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "Transcript of Dispatches, 1 March 2010". 
  19. ^ Leveson inquiry criticised by Daily Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan John Plunkett
  20. ^ "Andrew Gilligan to be London's 'cycling commissioner'". The Times. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Hugh Muir and Adam Bienkov. "Boris Johnson triggers fresh cronyism claims with Andrew Gilligan job | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  22. ^ New job for Andrew Gilligan ITV
  23. ^ Boris Johnson offers Andrew Gilligan role as cycling commissioner New Statesman
  24. ^ "London Cycling Awards 2016". 
  25. ^ "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. 
  26. ^ "Hearing Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph's London editor, is the latest name to go". 25 May 2016. 
  27. ^ "Gilligan joins Sunday Times". 
  28. ^ "Corrections and clarifications: Mermaids transgender charity". 
  29. ^ "Sunday Times admits report bashing transgender charity was untrue". 
  30. ^ "Sunday Telegraph pays damages to mosque chief over Corbyn article". 

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