Munira Mirza

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Munira Mirza
Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit
Assumed office
24 July 2019
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byJames Marshall

Munira Mirza (born 1978) is Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit, a post she was appointed to by incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 24 July 2019.[1] She previously worked under Johnson as Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture when he was Mayor of London.

Born in Oldham, she went to Breeze Hill School until 16, then moved to Oldham Sixth Form College for her A-levels. She studied English literature at Mansfield College at the University of Oxford, graduating in 1999, then completed an MA in social research in 2004 and a PhD in sociology in 2009, both at the University of Kent.[2][3][4][5]

Mirza previously held the titles of Cultural Adviser to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries for the Mayor of London.[6]

She previously worked as Development Director for the conservative think-tank Policy Exchange.[7] While she was there she edited a collection of essays, Culture Vultures: Is UK Arts Policy Damaging the Arts?, which challenged the government's efforts to promote socially inclusive arts.[8][9] and wrote Living Apart Together: British Muslims and the Paradox of Multiculturalism.[10]

In December 2009 she appeared in the BBC Radio 4 programme Great Lives, nominating the political philosopher Hannah Arendt.[11]

Her book The Politics of Culture: The Case for Universalism was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.[12]

In 2018 Mirza was mentioned by the New Statesman as a possible Conservative Party candidate for the 2020 London Mayoral election.[13]

In January 2019 she joined King's College London as Executive Director of Culture, leading the institution's cultural strategy together with oversight of the Science Gallery London at Guy's Campus.[14]

Revolutionary Communist Party membership[edit]

Mirza was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a small Trotskyist group that dissolved in 1997.[15][16] She contributed to its magazine, Living Marxism, which was dissolved after losing a libel case to ITN over the Bosnian genocide. The magazine was replaced by the Spiked website, for which she has written articles[17]. Many of Mirza's Revolutionary Communist Party colleagues became influential in Conservative Party Eurosceptic circles after the dissolution of their party, while remaining closely associated with each other's endeavours.[18]


  1. ^ "Sky Executive Among Johnson's First Appointments". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  2. ^ Akbhor, Rehubia (17 June 2014). "London's deputy mayor pays tribute to teachers at Oldham Sixth Form College". Manchester Evening News.
  3. ^ Jury, Louise (14 May 2008). "It's time for a rethink on the fourth plinth, says Mayor's new culture and arts director". Evening Standard.
  4. ^ King’s People - Munira Mirza. King’s College London.
  5. ^ "Munira Mirza". Mayor of London: Mayoral Team. Greater London Authority. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Profile: Munira Mirza". The Guardian. London. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Munira Mirza". Policy Exchange. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Culture Vultures: Is UK Arts Policy Damaging the Arts?". Policy Exchange. 19 January 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  9. ^ "New Report Critical of Money Spent on "Diversity" Arts". AIM Magazine. Asians in Media. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Living Apart Together: British Muslims and the Paradox of Multiculturalism". Policy Exchange. 29 January 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Great Lives". RadioListings. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  12. ^ "The Politics of Culture". Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Sadiq Khan's Conservative Opponents Can't Win. Which Means They Can't Lose Either". New Statesman.
  14. ^ "Munira Mirza Joins King's as Executive Director Culture". King’s College London. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  15. ^ Wooldridge, Adrian (22 August 2019). "The Downing Street Policy Unit, Boris Johnson's brain". The Economist. London. Retrieved 29 September 2019. The head of the Policy Unit, Munira Mirza, is a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Trotskyite groupuscule, and enthusiastic contributor to its house organ, Living Marxism.
  16. ^ Bowie, Jess (17 July 2014). "London Calling: Munira Mirza interview". totalpolitics. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Spiked- M Mirza's articles". Spiked online. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  18. ^ Turner, Jenny. "Who Are They? Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas". London Review of Books. Retrieved 25 July 2019.