Lecturing at Queen Mary University of London
|Education||King's College, Cambridge|
Rentoul was born in India, where his father was a minister of the Church of South India. Educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School, he studied History and English at King's College, Cambridge, and worked on an oil rig before becoming a journalist on Accountancy Age.
Rentoul was a journalist on the New Statesman between January 1983 and May 1988, latterly as Deputy Editor, and a political reporter for BBC's On The Record between 1988 and 1995. He became a political correspondent of The Independent in 1995 and the chief leader writer at The Independent from January 1997 before becoming chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday in 2004. He has described having a "slavish admiration" for Tony Blair and his biography of Blair has passed through several editions. He is a visiting professor in Contemporary History at Queen Mary, University of London.
Fellow journalist Martin Bright has said Rentoul "remains one of the most incisive political columnists writing today, even though he has lost his access to the highest levels of power". In 2011, Total Politics said Rentoul "is probably the most high-profile defender of Tony Blair’s record in the British media, in a year when the mere mention of the former PM’s name provoked boos at the Labour Party conference. His column in The Independent on Sunday has become one of the last bastions of pure, unadulterated Blairism". Rentoul was critical of Ed Miliband's leadership of the Labour Party, and regarded Liz Kendall as the best candidate to replace him in the 2015 Labour Party leadership election.
- "John Rentoul, Chuka Ummuna and Lord Falconer on Ed Miliband". BBC. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Guardian, 25 June 1980, p. 7.
- "John Rentoul: Cameron blew it. Labour can win". The Independent. 23 October 2011.
- "Top 100 political journalists 2011". Total Politics.
- "John Rentoul: Ed Miliband 'has to go' for Labour to win". BBC. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- John Rentoul (3 May 2015). "General Election 2015: Win or lose, Ed Miliband is not ready to govern". The Independent. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
I stand by my view of five years ago that he was the wrong choice, and will take his defeat as a vindication of the eternal New Labour verities: elections are won on the centre ground; a party of government must understand wealth creation; voters are suspicious of tax, spend and borrow.
- John Rentoul (18 July 2015). "Labour leadership race: Most party members and supporters are horrified by the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn winning". The Independent. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "Voices". The Independent.
- 'One man's war on clichés (does what it says on the tin)', John Rentoul, The Independent, 14 June 2001
- John Rentoul tells Ethos his top public service innovators, Ethos June 2012
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