Dan Hodges

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Daniel Pearce Jackson Hodges (born 7 March 1969) is a British newspaper columnist. Since March 2016, he has written a weekly column for The Mail on Sunday.[1] Prior to this, he was a columnist for The Daily Telegraph[2] and in 2013 was described by James Forsyth in The Spectator as David Cameron's "new favourite columnist".[3] Formerly a member of the Labour Party, Hodges is known for his centrist/Blairite views, and his critical stance on the running of his former party.

Biography[edit]

Hodges is the son of the actress and former Labour MP Glenda Jackson and her then husband Roy Hodges.[4] He worked as a parliamentary researcher for his mother between 1992 and 1997, jokingly describing it as 'straight-forward nepotism', before working in public relations for the Road Haulage Association, GMB and the Freedom To Fly lobby group.[5] He worked briefly as Head of Communications at the London Development Agency and as Director of news for Transport for London in 2007, where he left after less than a year in post over comments relating to a former employee.[6]

He has since worked as a journalist and blogger, writing in a freelance capacity for The Guardian, the New Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Labour Uncut and The Spectator. He supported Jon Cruddas in the 2007 deputy leadership election as a member of Compass, but has since been critical of the organisation.[7] He supported David Miliband in his unsuccessful campaign for the 2010 Labour leadership contest and was very critical of the winner Ed Miliband. He also worked for the successful No to AV campaign in 2011, but attracted controversy for one particularly provocative poster relating to the death of babies.[8]

Views[edit]

Hodges describes himself as a "tribal neo-Blairite".[9] He was a vocal critic of the former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, as well as the current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. He quit the Labour Party after being a member for 27 years but subsequently rejoined, before leaving again 5 months later.[10]

After an acrimonious split from the New Statesman in 2011, where Hodges had submitted articles on a freelance basis, his former colleague Mehdi Hasan described his new role with The Daily Telegraph as one where he "now performs the role of the right's useful idiot".[11]

In May 2012, although he was then a long-standing member of the Labour Party, Hodges voted for the Conservative Boris Johnson in the London Mayoral elections, lauding him as a "unifying figure" over his former boss Ken Livingstone whom he saw as "divisive" and "a disgrace", adding that "London needs someone who can speak for all of London, not just the balkanized segments whose votes he craves". However, he still voted for Labour London Assembly candidates.[12]

In August 2013, Hodges expressed strong approval for the border detention of David Miranda, the spouse of journalist Glenn Greenwald, under the Terrorism Act, who despite not being under suspicion of planning terrorist acts, was found to be carrying an external hard drive containing 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents, and whose detention was subsequently ruled lawful by the UK High Court, which accepted that Miranda's detention and the seizure of computer material was "an indirect interference with press freedom" but said this was justified by legitimate and "very pressing" interests of national security.[13]

Hodges expressed support for the government suppressing whistleblowers spreading "information highly detrimental to the UK national interest".[14] Following the House of Commons vote on 29 August 2013 against possible military involvement in the Syrian civil war, and objecting to Ed Miliband's conduct, Hodges left the Labour Party.[15]

In 2014, Hodges declared his support for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections because of party leader Nick Clegg's stand against UKIP but supported Labour for the local elections.[citation needed] He rejoined the Labour Party in July 2015.[16] Hodges supported Yvette Cooper for the Labour leadership but then resigned from the Labour Party a second time in December 2015 because of the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.[17]

In 2014, Hodges co-founded the Migration Matters Trust, a pro-immigration pressure group chaired by Barbara Roche, Lord Dholakia and Nadhim Zahawi and run by Atul Hatwal. Hodges is also a wargame designer. His first game design was Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic which is about the Falklands War.[18]

In November 2015, Hodge's first book, One Minute To Ten, was published by Penguin Books. It focuses on the three party leaders Cameron, Miliband, and Clegg, and the effect the 2015 general election had on their lives.[19]

In 2016, he won the Political Commentator of the Year Award at The Comment Awards.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Hodges married lobbyist Michelle di Leo in 2003, after meeting her at Labour Party Conference in 1999.[21] In February 1992, he lost the sight of his left eye trying to stop a fight in a bar.[22] He lives in Blackheath with his wife, children, and mother.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "March of the Corbinators: Britain's best political columnist DAN HODGES joins the Mail on Sunday - and reveals Labour plot to ditch Corbyn". The Mail on Sunday.
  2. ^ "Dan Hodges". Telegraph.co.uk.
  3. ^ "The secret of David Cameron's Europe strategy: he doesn't have one". The Spectator.
  4. ^ Ian Hall (28 February 2003). "Profile: Dan Hodges, Freedom To Fly". PR Week. prweek.com. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  5. ^ Ian Hall (28 February 2003). "Profile: Dan Hodges, Freedom To Fly". PR Week. prweek.com. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  6. ^ Matt Cartmell (14 December 2007). "TFL PR Chief leaves London Underground". PR Week. prweek.com. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Dan Hodges warns Labour against the new pluralism «  Labour Uncut". labour-uncut.co.uk.
  8. ^ "No to AV's new campaign is beyond parody". www.newstatesman.com. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  9. ^ Dan Hodges: Keynote and motivational speaker, Chartwell Speakers Bureau
  10. ^ Allegretti, Aubrey (15 December 2015). "Dan Hodges Announces He's Leaving The Labour Party, Is Lambasted For Quitting Over Jeremy Corbyn". HuffPost. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  11. ^ Hasan, Mehdi (20 October 2011). "Dan Hodges. The Truth. And me". New Statesman. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  12. ^ Dan Hodges (30 April 2012). "Ken Livingstone is right: it's him or Boris Johnson. That's why I'm voting Boris". Daily Telegraph Blogs. The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  13. ^ Travis,Alan; Taylor,Matthew; Wintour,Patrick (19 February 2014). "David Miranda detention at Heathrow airport was lawful, high court rules". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  14. ^ Dan Hodges (20 August 2013). "Why does being a relative of Glenn Greenwald place you above the law". Daily Telegraph Blogs. The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  15. ^ Dan Hodges "Miliband was governed by narrow political interests – not those of Syrian children. I have left the Labour Party", telegraph.co.uk, 30 August 2013
  16. ^ Hodges, Dan (27 July 2015). "The only way Labour can win the next election is to elect Corbyn now". The Daily Telegraph.
  17. ^ Hodges, Dan (15 December 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn has become the Left's Enoch Powell". The Daily Telegraph.
  18. ^ "Confessions of a 'Grognard': why I am an unashamed board game geek". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  19. ^ Books, Penguin (28 October 2015). "One Minute To Ten". Penguin Books.
  20. ^ "The Comment Awards 2017". www.commentawards.com. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Flying Matters". planestupid.com.
  22. ^ "Overview for Glenda Jackson". Turner Classic Movies.
  23. ^ Hodges, Dan (21 October 2014). "Ed Balls has just turned my house into a mansion. I'm not as happy about it as you might think". Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.

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