Kamal Ahmed (journalist)

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Kamal Ahmed
Kamal Ahmed

(1967-11-15) 15 November 1967 (age 51)
Ealing, London, England
EducationDrayton Manor High School
Alma materUniversity of Leeds
City University Department of Journalism
OccupationJournalist, editor, administrator
TitleEconomics Editor of BBC News (2016–2018)
Business Editor of BBC News (2014–2016)
Editorial Director of BBC News (2018–present)
Elizabeth Day (m. 2011)
AwardsCFA Society UK's ethical and professional standards award 2013[1]

Kamal Ahmed (born 15 November 1967 in Ealing, London) is a British journalist, currently serving as Editorial Director of BBC News.[2] He was Economics Editor at the BBC until November 2018, and Business Editor from March 2014, until Simon Jack was appointed as his successor in February 2016.[3]

Ahmed was formerly the political editor of The Observer , business editor of The Sunday Telegraph and Director of Communications at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Early life and education[edit]

Ahmed is the son of an English mother from Rotherham and a Sudanese father who was a research scientist in ophthalmology.[4] He grew up in Ealing. From 1980 to 1986, Ahmed was educated at Drayton Manor High School,[5] a state comprehensive school in Hanwell in the London Borough of Ealing in West London, followed by the University of Leeds, from which he graduated in 1990 with a degree in political studies.[6] He then trained in journalism at the City University Department of Journalism.


Ahmed worked on local newspapers in Scotland before joining Scotland on Sunday in 1993.[7] He later moved to The Guardian and became executive news editor and political editor at The Observer newspaper.[3] Ahmed was later criticised by fellow journalist Nick Davies for maintaining an inappropriately close relationship with Downing Street while serving as political editor, and for publishing numerous articles that "contained significant falsehood or distortion".[8] Ahmed described Davies' claims as untrue and "hearsay".[9] After leaving the newspaper, he then became group Director of Communications at the Equality and Human Rights Commission,[3] recruited by its then chairman Trevor Phillips.[10]

In 2009, Ahmed was appointed business editor for The Sunday Telegraph,[10][11] undertaking a course at the London Business School before replacing Mark Kleinman, who left for Sky News.[12] In 2013 he became executive business editor, with a role across the Sunday and Daily Telegraph print editions.[3][13]

On 20 December 2013, it was announced that Ahmed would replace Robert Peston as the business editor of BBC News,[3][14] and on 24 March 2014 he assumed the post.

On 3 December 2015, after Peston's departure to ITV, it was announced that Ahmed would replace him as the BBC economics editor, with his successor as business editor of BBC News would be announced early in 2016.[2]

On 30 July 2018, Ahmed was announced as BBC News' Editorial Director,[15] with Faisal Islam replacing him in his current role.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Ahmed married the journalist and novelist Elizabeth Day in December 2011.[17] The couple separated in February 2015 and are now divorced.[18]


  1. ^ "Annual report" (pdf). CFA UK. 30 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "BBC - Kamal Ahmed appointed new BBC Economics Editor - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ a b c d e "BBC appoints Telegraph's Kamal Ahmed as business editor". BBC News. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  4. ^ Ahmed, Kamal (9 November 2008). "After Obama, I can be proud of what I really am: black and white". The Observer.
  5. ^ "Alumni News - Kamal Ahmed". Drayton Manor High School, Hanwell. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Who's been here? | Politics and International Studies (POLIS)". University of Leeds. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  7. ^ "BBC Radio 5 live - On the Money". BBC. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  8. ^ Davies, Nick, Flat Earth News, 340-385.
  9. ^ Savage, Michael (11 February 2008). "Kamal Ahmed: 'Nick is a coward'. Ahmed bites back". The Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b Pidd, Helen (26 July 2009). "Trevor Phillips 'shocked' as ally quits watchdog". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  11. ^ Luft, Oliver (27 July 2009). "Former Observer exec Kamal Ahmed joins Sunday Telegraph". Press Gazette. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  12. ^ Bates, Victoria (21 August 2009). "New Sunday Telegraph Business Editor on Steep Learning Curve". City AM. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Column - Kamal Ahmed". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  14. ^ Plunkett, John (20 December 2013). "BBC appoints Sunday Telegraph's Kamal Ahmed as business editor". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  15. ^ "BBC - BBC announces Kamal Ahmed as Editorial Director and Gavin Allen as Head of News Output - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk.
  16. ^ https://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/news/broadcasting/2018/11/sky-news-political-editor-defects-bbc
  17. ^ "MGC News" Archived 12 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Malvern St James, OGA News, Spring 2013, p.17
  18. ^ https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/weekend/cambridge-graduate-a-successful-career-as-an-awardwinning-author-and-journalist-invitations-to-alist-parties-why-life-is-good-for-elizabeth-day-36016461.html

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Robert Peston
Business Editor of BBC News
Succeeded by
Simon Jack
Preceded by
Robert Peston
Economics Editor of BBC News
Succeeded by
Faisal Islam
Preceded by
Position established
Editorial Director of BBC News
Succeeded by