Michael White (journalist)

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For other people named Michael White, see Michael White (disambiguation).
White chairing a session for the Health Hotel in September 2009

Michael White (born 21 October 1945) is a British journalist who is an associate editor of The Guardian. He is the title's former political editor.

Early life[edit]

White was raised in Wadebridge, Cornwall.[1] He was educated at Bodmin Grammar School and then studied for a BA in History at University College London.


White began his career in journalism at the Reading Evening Post (1966–71) and after a spell at the London Evening Standard (1970–71) he moved to The Guardian, where he has worked ever since variously as a sub/feature writer (1971–74), diary writer (1974–76), political correspondent and sketchwriter (1976–84) and Washington correspondent (1984–88). He became the newspaper's political editor in 1990, a position he relinquished to Patrick Wintour at the beginning of 2006. In 2003 he was voted Print Journalist of the Year by MPs and Peers in the The House/BBC Parliamentary Awards.

He is a regular commentator on the BBC, introducing newspaper reviews and commenting on everything from Newsnight to Breakfast News, BBC News Channel and Question Time. He has also appeared on BBC Radio 4, introducing a programme on political insults, Savaged By A Dead Sheep.

Political views[edit]

Despite being a Labour Party supporter, White has not always had the easiest of relationships with Labour and its leading figures. In November 1991, following the death of Mirror owner Robert Maxwell, he was involved in a physical altercation with the title's political editor Alastair Campbell, later Director of Communications for Tony Blair, over White's use of the "Cap'n Bob, Bob, Bob" refrain.[2]

In February 2006, White detailed the changing attitudes of the Labour Party to The Guardian (publicly identifying himself as a Labour supporter) and of his defence of Labour at the time of the Social Democratic Party split. He said that the Labour government's change of attitude to The Guardian (from hostility towards grudging friendship as the government lost "fair weather friends" on other papers) was demonstrated by the fact that he and his colleague (and successor as political editor) Patrick Wintour were now offered a cup of tea when they met Tony Blair. With regard to the Israel–Palestine conflict, in July 2006 he stated that as he gets older his sympathies are shifting back to Israel.[3]

White, in discussing media self-censorship in March 2011, said, "I have always sensed liberal, middle class ill-ease in going after stories about immigration, legal or otherwise, about welfare fraud or the less attractive tribal habits of the working class, which is more easily ignored altogether. Toffs, including royal ones, Christians, especially popes, governments of Israel, and US Republicans are more straightforward targets."[4]

White has argued against some gay rights, including gay adoption and gay marriage.[5][6]


  1. ^ White, Michael (2008-02-07). "Michael White's political blog". Blogs.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  2. ^ Michael White. "White vs Campbell". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  3. ^ "Crisis and whispers". Commentisfree.guardian.co.uk. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  4. ^ White, Michael (2011-03-09). "Media self-censorship: not just a problem for Turkey". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  5. ^ White, Michael (2011-02-14). "Same-sex marriage cannot be the same as heterosexual marriage". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  6. ^ White, Michael (2012-03-05). "Gay marriage: noisy bishops are not always wrong". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 

External links[edit]