Veronica Judith Colleton Wadley, CBE (born 28 February 1952) is Chair of Arts Council London and board member of Arts Council England (2010–present). She was a senior advisor to the former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (2012–2016) and the chair of the Mayor’s Music Fund (2012–present). She is also a non-executive director of the Berkeley Group and an independent Director of Times Newspapers Holdings.
Early life and career
Wadley was born in Chelsea and educated at the independent Francis Holland School in central London and at Benenden School in Kent. She was employed by Condé Nast (1971–74), working on Vogue, before travelling to South Africa where she worked as a journalist for three years. She subsequently joined The Daily Telegraph colour magazine (1978–81) and The Mail on Sunday for five years before rejoining The Daily Telegraph in 1986 remaining there until 1996, being appointed deputy editor in 1994. She has also worked on the Daily Mail as deputy editor and features editor (1996–2002).
Editor of the Evening Standard
A British journalist, Wadley was editor of London's Evening Standard from February 2002 to February 2009, during which time it was owned by Associated Newspapers. She was the first female editor of the paper. During her seven years at the Standard she championed the arts and chaired the Evening Standard Theatre awards and Film awards. After Alexander Lebedev acquired the Standard in 2009, he replaced her with former Tatler editor Geordie Greig.
The newspaper was particularly critical of the then London Mayor, Ken Livingstone. This came to a head in the run-up to the 2008 London mayoral election, in which Wadley's newspaper attacked Livingstone's record. According to articles in The Guardian and Time Out London, she was strongly influenced by the need to renew Associated Newspaper's multi-million pound contract to deliver the Metro free paper in London Underground stations in 2010, a decision within the gift of the Mayor. A few months after Wadley left the Standard, the publication launched its "Sorry" promotion. "London is laughing at this ludicrous campaign", she claimed.The Guardian reported "The market research evidently discovered that Londoners considered the Standard to be too negative.
As chair of Arts Council London, Wadley acts as an advocate and ambassador for the Arts Council in order to champion, support and develop art and culture across the city. Arts Council London supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to dance, music, literature and art and oversees the budget for London. Wadley was appointed in 2012 as a senior advisor to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, advising on the Olympic Legacy and was instrumental in setting up Team London which won European Volunteering Capital 2016 for its work with young people. She oversaw the delivery of youth volunteering and employment programmes and co-ordinated the Mayor’s relationship with London’s diverse charities. She also developed new strategy for business relationships and sponsorship for the Greater London Authority.
Wadley has been heavily involved in promoting and supporting music and the arts in London. She has also been involved in raising funds for a several charities. She is a Founder Trustee of the London Music Fund (formerley the Mayor of London's Fund for Young Musicians, an independent charity supporting music education for children from low income families in London) and was its Chair from 2012–2016. She is also a Governor of the Yehudi Menuhin School (2012–present). The school develops the musical potential of exceptionally gifted young musicians. Since 2009, she has been an advisor at Greenhouse Sports. Greenhouse is a charity set up in 2002 to provide sports programmes for London secondary schools and academies in areas if high unemployment. She was a member of the GLA Music Education Advisory Board (2010–2016) which helped promote music education in London.
Previously she was a trustee of Northern Ballet (2009–2013) and advisory board member of Arts and Business (2009–2012) and conference chair of Editorial Intelligence (2009–2010).
She was awarded a CBE for services to the arts in the 2018 New Year's Honours.
Veronica Wadley has been married to the investigative journalist Tom Bower since 1985. The couple have two children, a boy and a girl. She also has two stepsons from her husband's first marriage.
Notes and references
- Dennis Griffiths (ed.) "Wadley, Veronica" in The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1422–1992, London & Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992, p. 575
- "Veronica Wadley to step down" Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., The Evening Standard, 2 February 2009. Retrieved on 2 February 2009
- Chris Tryhorn "Livingstone: Daily Mail is reprehensible", The Guardian, 15 February 2005. Retrieved on 25 May 2007.
- Nicholas Watt and Sam Jones "Boris eyes Ken's crown, with the help of some powerful friends", The Guardian, Friday April 25, 2008, page 8, para 8.
- Veronica Wadley "Ex-Evening Standard editor Veronica Wadley's verdict on paper's new regime", The Guardian, 11 May 2009.
|Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph
with Trevor Grove (1992–1994)
Simon Heffer (1994–1995)
Sir Max Hastings
|Editor of The Evening Standard
- "The Standard Bearer", interview in The Guardian, June 7, 2004