print journalist

Michael White (journalist)

Michael White (born 21 October 1945) is an associate editor and former political editor of The Guardian. White was raised in Wadebridge, Cornwall. He was educated at Bodmin Grammar School. He then studied for a BA (Hons) in History at University College London, he then began his career 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 House Magazine/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 24 to Question Time. He has also appeared on BBC Radio 4, recently introducing a programme on political insults, Savaged By A Dead Sheep. He made an early appearance on Have I Got News For You in 1991 though he has not appeared on the programme again.

Despite being a Labour supporter, White has not always had the easiest of relationships with Labour and its leading figures. Alastair Campbell, then-political editor of the Daily Mirror and later press secretary to Tony Blair, was reported to have punched him when he described Robert Maxwell as "Captain Bob, Bob, Bob" after Maxwell's - the Mirror's proprietor - death at sea in 1991. The incident coloured relationships for most of the following decade, although White later admitted having punched Campbell back.

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 SDP split. He has 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.


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