John Rentoul

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This article is about the British journalist. For clergyman and poet, see John Laurence Rentoul.
John Rentoul, lecturing at Queen Mary, University of London

John Rentoul (born 1958) is a British journalist who has been the chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday since February 2004.[1]


Rentoul was born in India, where his father was a minister of the Church of South India. Educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School,[2] he studied History and English at King's College, Cambridge and worked on an oil rig before becoming a journalist on Accountancy Age.[3]

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 "slavish admiration" for Tony Blair.[4] He is also a visiting professor in Contemporary History at Queen Mary, University of London.[5] His biography of Tony Blair has passed through several editions.

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".[6] 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".[7]

He also maintains a daily blog.[8]


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