Fraser Nelson

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Fraser Nelson
Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson at 'Towards a Better Child Poverty Target'.jpg
Nelson speaking in 2012
Born Fraser Nelson
(1973-05-14) 14 May 1973 (age 44)
Nairn, Scotland
Nationality British
Education University of Glasgow
City University
Occupation Journalist (editor, The Spectator)

Fraser Nelson (born 14 May 1973)[1] is a Scottish political journalist and editor of The Spectator magazine.

Early and personal life[edit]

Educated at Nairn Academy and Dollar Academy, Nelson went on to study history and politics at the University of Glasgow and gained a diploma in journalism at City University, London.[2] He is Catholic,[3] and he once worked as a barman at Cleos in Rosyth.[4]

Married with two children, the family live in Twickenham, located in south west Greater London.

Journalism career[edit]

Nelson began his journalistic career as a business reporter with The Times in 1997, followed by a short spell as Scottish political correspondent.[2] At a party he met Andrew Neil, then editor of The Scotsman who recruited him as its political editor in 2001.[2] In 2003 he moved to The Business, a sister title of The Scotsman in the Barclay brothers' Press Holdings group.

In July 2004 the brothers bought The Telegraph Group, which included The Spectator and in December 2005 they sold The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Neil had been appointed Chief Executive of The Spectator after the Barclays bought it, and in 2006 he brought in Nelson as associate editor and then political editor of the magazine.[2] He replaced Matthew d'Ancona as editor of The Spectator when the latter left in August 2009.[5]

In addition to his role as editor of The Spectator, Nelson was a political columnist for the News of the World from 2006[2] and a board director with the Centre for Policy Studies think tank.[5][6] He was named Political Columnist of the Year in the 2009 Comment Awards.[7]

In 2013, the Evening Standard named Nelson as one of the most influential journalists working in London.[8] The British Society of Magazine Editors awarded Nelson the 2013 Editors’ Editor of the Year.[9] In the same year he won the British Press Award as Political journalist of the Year.[10]

Style and beliefs[edit]

Nelson is a supporter of the Conservative Party. He describes The Spectator magazine under his editorship as "right of centre, but not strongly right of centre".[2] He on occasion criticised David Cameron's leadership but was generally supportive, and has also been known to praise Cameron's Liberal Democrat coalition partner from 2010 to 2015, Nick Clegg.[11]


Nelson has stated that he is a supporter of immigration.[12]

On 4 April 2014, Nelson published a piece in the Daily Telegraph entitled "The British Muslim is truly one among us – and proud to be so", which praised the integration of mainstream Islam in the UK and described it as one "of our great success stories".[13] He returned to the theme in May 2015, with an article entitled "The unsayable truth about immigration: it's been a stunning success for Britain", in which he examined the history of Operation Trojan Horse, Sharia patrols, the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal and other scandals.[14]

  • "The irony is that Britain does not need legislation to make it more liberal. It can already claim to be one of the most tolerant places on earth. The 2011 census showed how we have absorbed the unprecedented rates of immigration over the past decade without anything like the far-Right backlash seen on the Continent."[15]

Gay marriage[edit]

  • "If the Unitarian Church and certain strands of Judaism want to marry gay couples on their premises, then why should government stand in their way? For the record, I quite agree. Religious freedom in Britain ought to be universal, extended to the handful of churches or synagogues who want same-sex marriage."[15]

The nuclear family[edit]

  • David Cameron is the "Prime Minister of a country where 48 percent of children will see their parents split up. Strip out immigrants (who flatter most social statistics) and only a minority of British babies are born to married parents. By the age of 16, a British child is considerably more likely to have a television in the bedroom than a father in the house."[15]

Charlie Hebdo[edit]

Nelson wrote two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre a reflective piece in which he compared that massacre to the Deal barracks bombing by the Provisional IRA:[3]

Nelson also noted that the Muslim Council of Britain released an unequivocal statement condemning the Paris massacre, while the Islamic Human Rights Commission had released nothing to that date.


  1. ^ "Fraser Nelson". The Media Briefing. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Sabbagh, Dan (17 February 2013). "Fraser Nelson: The Spectator is more cocktail party than political party". The Guardian. London. 
  3. ^ a b "British Muslims deserve better leaders - and they'll need them". The Daily Telegraph (London). 9 January 2015.
  4. ^ Nelson, Fraser (15 October 2012). "Keep Gordon Brown out of the battle for Scotland". The Spectator blog. 
  5. ^ a b "Fraser Nelson to replace Matthew d'Ancona as Spectator editor". The Guardian. 28 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Fraser Nelson profile Centre for Policy Studies
  7. ^ "Comment Awards - Previous Winners 2009". Editorial Intelligence. 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Power 1000 - London's most influential people 2013: Thinkfluentials, News junkies ", 20 September 2013
  9. ^ "BSME Awards 2013 Winners" (Press release). British Society of Magazine Editors. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Winners List for The Press Awards for 2013" on The Press Awards Website, accessed 15 May 2015
  11. ^ "How I learned to stop worrying and rate Nick Clegg". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Only one person is laughing at the Farage-Clegg EU pantomime ", 27 March 2014
  13. ^ "The British Muslim is truly one among us – and proud to be so", 5 April 2014
  14. ^ "The unsayable truth about immigration: it's been a stunning success for Britain", 21 May 2015
  15. ^ a b c "Britain is getting a glimpse of the crazy world of culture wars", 13 December 2012

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Matthew d'Ancona
Editor of The Spectator