Craig Oliver (British journalist)
|Sir Craig Oliver|
|Downing Street Director of Communications|
28 February 2011 – 13 July 2016
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Andy Coulson|
|Succeeded by||Katie Perrior|
|Born||Craig Stewart Oliver
15 May 1969
Basford, Nottinghamshire, England
|Spouse(s)||Joanna Gosling (1996–2014) (separated)|
|Relations||Ian Oliver (father)|
|Alma mater||University of St Andrews
Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies
|Occupation||Journalist, media executive, spin doctor|
Sir Craig Stewart Oliver (born 15 May 1969) is a British news editor, producer and media executive, and the former Director of Communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Previously, he was Controller of English news output for BBC Global News, responsible for commissioning the news content for the corporation's English-language global services, including the BBC World Service, BBC World News and BBC News Online.
Oliver was born in Basford, Nottinghamshire. His father, Ian Oliver, relocated the family to Scotland on his promotion to Chief Constable of Central Scotland Police, then later Chief Constable of Grampian Police. Craig Oliver attended Stirling High School, where he was a contemporary of the presenter Kirsty Young, then went on to read English literature at the University of St Andrews.
After graduating with a diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the Cardiff School of Journalism, he began his media career in 1992 as a reporter for STV. One of his first assignments for the station was covering a fire in a block of flats in Glasgow's Easterhouse district. In 1993 he joined ITN as a trainee reporter, after which he became a producer on ITV's News at Ten. With the launch of Channel Five in 1997 he moved from News at Ten to become programme editor of Five News, but returned to ITV in 1999 as senior programme editor for ITV Evening News. He moved to Channel Four News in 2002, but once again returned to ITV News the following year when he was appointed as Head of Output. He was later promoted to Head of Network News Programming.
Oliver joined the BBC in 2006, where he became editor of BBC One's Ten O'Clock News, He was also editor of the channel's Six O'Clock News. In May 2009, Oliver was appointed as the new deputy head of the Corporation's multimedia newsroom, replacing Mary Hockaday, who had been promoted the previous month to be the new head of the operation that oversees all BBC News output. Oliver was subsequently appointed Controller of English, BBC Global News in April 2010, with responsibility for multiplatform commissioning of all BBC Global News English output. He took up this role after editing the BBC's 2010 general election coverage. At BBC World, he was part of the team which oversaw cuts to the Corporation's World Service.
Director of Communications, Downing Street
On 2 February 2011 he was appointed Andy Coulson's replacement as Director of Communications at 10 Downing Street, having been recommended by Coulson for the job. He took up this position on 28 February. He committed a political faux pas at the following weekend's Conservative Party Spring Conference after accidentally showing his notes for David Cameron's keynote speech to photographers. In June 2011, The Mail on Sunday reported that a fake Downing Street Twitter account had been set up in Oliver's name and used to make comedic remarks about politicians and journalists. The site attracted 1,200 followers before it was exposed as a hoax.
On 24 May 2012, Oliver was named in documents submitted to the Leveson Inquiry into media standards as being one of eight Downing Street advisers to have had contact with News Corporation lobbyist Frédéric Michel. Oliver and Michel dined together in July 2011 after news broke concerning the News of the World phone hacking scandal, but Oliver did not have to declare the dinner on the register of interests as they split the bill.
On 28 May 2012, video footage was posted on the internet of Oliver reprimanding BBC News correspondent Norman Smith over the content of a story concerning a memo Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt sent to David Cameron about his thoughts on News Corporation's bid to take full control of BSkyB. Oliver did not appear to realise the cameras were rolling during their exchange.
On 12 December 2012, it was reported that during a telephone call to The Daily Telegraph Oliver had warned the newspaper against running a critical story on MPs expenses claimed by Culture Secretary Maria Miller because of her role in enacting proposals in the Leveson report. Downing Street denied that any threats were made. The Parliamentary Commission for Standards subsequently launched an investigation into Miller's expenses.
Post-Downing Street career
Oliver received a Knighthood in the 2016 Resignation Honours after David Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister in the wake of the European Union membership referendum. After leaving Downing Street, Oliver wrote an account of the referendum campaign, published in October 2016. The book, Unleashing Demons: The Inside Story of Brexit, was serialised in the Mail on Sunday in September 2016, and claims that David Cameron felt "badly let down" by Theresa May (who was Home Secretary during the referendum campaign) because she failed to back the remain side.
In June 2010 Oliver became a director of BBC World News Limited. He has served as company secretary of Paya Ltd, a company founded by his wife, since 2005, but declared his intention to relinquish this role on taking up his position at Downing Street.
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- "David Cameron adviser Craig Oliver filmed berating BBC reporter". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "No 10 denies 'threats' made over Daily Telegraph probe". BBC News. BBC. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- Wright, Oliver (12 December 2012). "Senior David Cameron aide accused of threatening newspaper over Maria Miller investigation". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- Watt, Nicholas (12 December 2012). "Downing Street and Daily Telegraph at war over Maria Miller allegations". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- Watt, Nicholas (13 December 2012). "Maria Miller faces parliamentary investigation into her expenses". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
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- "George Osborne tops ex-PM David Cameron's honours list". BBC News. BBC. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "David Cameron 'let down' by Theresa May, says former PM aide". BBC News. BBC. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
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- Chapman, James (3 February 2011). "BBC journalist appointed as Cameron’s new communications chief after Andy Coulson’s departure". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- Walker, Tim (20 March 2014). "David Cameron's aide Craig Oliver splits from his wife". Telegraph Online. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
|Downing Street Director of Communications