John Ware (TV journalist)

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John Ware is a British journalist, author, and investigative reporter.

He was at The Sun in Belfast from 1974 to 1977 and then a researcher on Granada/ITV's World in Action,[1]

In 1981, he beame a producer for World in Action. He also presented BBC's Rough Justice, Taking Liberties and Inside Story. He then worked the Worcester Evening News and Droitwich Guardian.

He was a reporter on the BBC public affairs documentary programme Panorama from 1986 to 2012.[2] He joined Panorama as a reporter Several of the cases profiled in the show were referred back to the Court of Appeal and several resulted in overturned convictions.[3] Ware has covered Northern Ireland since 1974.

Ware has also written for the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Guardian, Jewish Chronicle and Standpoint magazine.[3][4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Ware was educated at Hurstpierpoint College, a boarding school for boys near the village of Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex.[1] He did not go to university.



According to the BBC, some of Ware's accomplishments while employed by the broadcaster include:[3]

  • 1984, filming two Scotland Yard Flying Squad officers in the act of setting up an armed robbery. His evidence led to their trial at the Old Bailey.
  • 1989, uncovering evidence that led the District Auditor and then the High Court to accuse Dame Shirley Porter of "gerrymandering", by attempting to rig the Westminster City Council's elections.
  • 1990, discovering an attempt by paratroopers in Belfast to cover up the unlawful shooting of joyriders.[7] The conviction for murder of the paratrooper, Lee Clegg, for this incident was ultimately quashed on appeal.[8]
  • 1996, reporting on human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia and how the Sharia courts condemned an innocent young man to public beheading.
  • 1997, discovering papers belonging to the Deputy Prime Minister showing that, despite elections promises to the contrary, the new Labour government planned to privatise the London Underground within two months of taking office.
  • 1998, unearthing evidence showing that Deborah Parry, one of the two "Saudi Nurses", was innocent of murdering Yvonne Gilford in 1996.
  • 1998, securing evidence of secret price fixing deals between car dealers and three leading motor manufacturers, including Volvo, which led to the Director General of Fair Trading John Bridgeman to accuse the Swedish car giant of "disgraceful" conduct, while pointing out that under the government's proposed new competition laws, the company could have been fined £70m.
  • 2000, reporting that, in contravention of New Labour's strict contest rules, the party's General Secretary (in 2000) and his senior officials were responsible for leaking a confidential list of London party members to Downing Street's London Mayoral candidate Frank Dobson, giving him an unfair advantage over rival candidate Ken Livingstone.

In 2003 Ware presented "The Asylum Game", a Panorama episode investigating the UK asylum system:[9] the programme was criticised by the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, who described it as a "poorly researched and overspun documentary" which uncritically repeated the claims of MigrationWatch UK, an organisation campaigning for tightening restrictions on immigration to the UK,[10] which Ware denied in a response to Blunkett's comments.[11]

Islamic extremism[edit]

He has taken a particular interest in investigating Islamic extremism.

  • 2005, A Panorama edition Ware produced criticising the Muslim Council of Britain, A Question of Leadership, was described by them as "deeply unfair" and "a witch hunt".[1] The programme attracted over 600 complaints within a week of its broadcast:[12] Guardian journalist Madeleine Bunting described Ware's claims in the documentary as "veer(ing) erratically from the McCarthyite absurd to some legitimate accusations".[13]
  • 2006, Responding to complaints about another Panorama edition, Faith, Hate and Charity produced by Ware, the Charity Commission in 2009[14] dismissed its allegations that British based Palestinian relief charity Interpal was funding organisations involved in terrorism.[15] The Muslim Council of Britain described Ware as "an agenda-driven pro-Israel polemicist".[16] The programme resulted in the BBC paying undisclosed libel damages and giving a public apology to the General Manager of Islamic Relief UK, who was prominently shown while not being a subject of the programme.[17]
  • 2010, Another Panorama edition by Ware, British schools, Islamic Rules on some Islamic teaching in Britain, was criticised by the Muslim Council of Britain as a partial and unbalanced portrayal.[18]

In 2015, Ware was commended for being "sympathetic to Jewish concerns", receiving a Commitment to Media Award from the Women's International Zionist Organization. Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said "I tell our trainees at the JC, that if there is one person they should model themselves on, it is John Ware.".[19]

Labour Party[edit]

He has produced at least two documentaries on the Labour Party in recent years.

  • 2015, A Panorama edition by Ware on the campaign of Jeremy Corbyn to be elected as Labour Party leader, Labour's Earthquake, attracted hundreds of complaints, including from Corbyn's campaign team, and was described by a member of Corbyn's campaign team as "containing factual inaccuracies" and "a complete hatchet job".[20]
  • 2019, An extended Panorama edition, entitled Is Labour Anti-Semitic?, was described by Labour as containing "deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead" and the party alleged that "Panorama has pre-determined the outcome of its investigation and is relying on unsubstantiated allegations and misrepresentation to come to its conclusions." and that "No proper attempt has been made by Panorama to understand Labour’s current processes and procedures".[21] Labour later submitted a formal complaint about the programme to the BBC.[22]

Freelance work[edit]

In 2012, Ware took voluntary redundancy from the BBC, but has continued with some freelance work.[2] Since leaving the BBC, he has published articles about its top management.[16][23]

Personal life[edit]

Ware was married to Helena (nee Keel), and had two children with her, the actress Hannah Ware and singer-songwriter Jessie Ware, both of whom were raised in the Jewish faith.[24][25] Ware now lives in north-west London with his partner, the BBC presenter and producer Wendy Robbins, who is also Jewish[26] and their three children.[1]


  • Broadcast Journalist of the year – 2001 at the RTS Journalism Awards for "Who Bombed Omagh?" and "Spin Doctors", an investigation into the truthfulness of government claims about National Health Service spending and new initiatives.
  • Current Affairs Home Award – 1983/1987


Ware is co-author of Mengele, the complete story, 1986.[27][28]


  1. ^ a b c d James Silver (21 August 2006). "'It's the last chance for Panorama'". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Maggie Brown (5 March 2012). "John Ware and Vivian White to leave Panorama". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c John Ware Reporters BBC Panorama
  4. ^ "John Ware". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ "John Ware". Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Articles By John Ware". Standpoint. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018.
  7. ^ John Ware (16 June 1995). "The Politics of Parole". The Spectator. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  8. ^ Sean Rayment (23 October 2005). "15 years after killing joyrider, Lee Clegg is put back in the line". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  9. ^ "The asylum game". 14 July 2003. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  10. ^ Travis, Alan (24 July 2003). "Blunkett savages BBC in asylum row". Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Reporters hit back at criticism". Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  12. ^ Merali, Arzu (29 March 2018). "The banality and boredom of anti-Muslim witchhunts. Or beware John Ware". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  13. ^ Bunting, Madeleine (22 August 2005). "Throwing mud at Muslims". Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  14. ^ Inquiry Report - Palestinian Relief and Development Fund (Interpal) (PDF) (Report). Charity Commission. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  15. ^ Paul Jump (27 February 2009). "Interpal did not fund terrorist groups". Third Sector Online. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  16. ^ a b John Ware (10 November 2012). "A personal tragedy and a hammer blow for an honest institution". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  17. ^ "BBC's Panorama in libel payout to Islamic charity boss". Press Gazette. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  18. ^ "MCB Statement on Panorama Story – "British Schools, Islamic Rules"". Muslim Council of Scotland. 23 Nov 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  19. ^ Rashty, Sandy (7 July 2015). "Leading journalist John Ware wins Wizo media award". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  20. ^ Dathan, Matt (11 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn's team send a complaint to the BBC over its 'hatchet job' Panorama programme". The Independent. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  21. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (10 July 2019). "'Is Labour antisemitic?': BBC Panorama on political interference and leaked emails". Labour List. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Labour submits complaint to BBC over Panorama expose". Jewish News. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  23. ^ John Ware (22 September 2013). "The 'guardians. who damaged the BBC". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  24. ^ "Interview: "Boss" Actress Hannah Ware Talks Kelsey Grammer, Drug Addiction and Political Families | Complex". 17 August 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  25. ^ Women (1 October 2012). "Mercury nominee Jessie Ware on the 'sorority' dominating British music". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  26. ^ Hounam, Peter (1999). The Woman From Mossad: The Story of Mordechai Vanunu and the Israeli Nuclear Program. Berkeley, California: Frog Ltd. pp. 42–57. ISBN 1-58394-005-7.
  27. ^ Gerald L. Posner, John Ware (1986). Mengele: The Complete Story. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780070505988.
  28. ^ Gerald L. Posner, John Ware (2000). Mengele: The Complete Story. Cooper Square Press. ISBN 9781461661160.

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