Tim Montgomerie

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Tim Montgomerie is the founder of the website ConservativeHome.com and was its editor until 7 April 2013 when he took up a new role as Comment Editor of The Times the next day. He continues to act as an adviser to ConHome and writes a weekly blog. He also remains a shareholder. [1]

Background

Montomerie was born in 1970, and grew up in Hampshire and Germany. He studied Economics and Geography at Exeter University.[2]

In December 1990, he founded the Conservative Christian Fellowship with David Burrowes. He was the organisation's director for 13 years.[3]

From 1998 to 2003, Montgomerie ran the Conservative Party's outreach to faith communities and the voluntary sector. He was Iain Duncan Smith's chief of staff for his last two months as Conservative leader and in 2004 helped him to establish the Centre for Social Justice.[4]

Montgomerie launched the ConservativeHome website in 2005.[5]

In November 2008 he launched the London Centre for the Study of Anti-Americanism. In June 2009 he launched ConservativeIntelligence.com.[6]

Montgomerie is a co-founder of Nothing British.[7]

History

1990s

Exeter University and the Exeter Enterprise Forum

In the 1990s Tim Montgomerie was a student at Exeter University. While he was there studying, alongside fellow student Sajid Javid, he created the Exeter Enterprise Forum. The forum was a campaign group created in order to 'promote capitalism to students'.[8]

Conservative Christian Fellowship

While he was at Exeter University Montgomerie also founded and became chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship. According to The Guardian, Montgomerie was inspired by Dr Adrian Rogers a previous Conservative candidate for Exeter who was expelled from the part for making 'anti-gay' comments[9][10] Montgomerie regularly contributed letters to broadsheet newspapers in his capacity as chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship between 1991-1994. He continued to write the letters following this period but instead of being the chairman he described himself as 'director' or 'director of fellowship'.[11][12]

In early 1997 40 Conservative MP's and four cabinet ministers were members of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, members included Brian Mawhinney, Peter Lilley, John Gummer, Anne Widdecombe and Lord Mackay. At this time the group were receiving advice from the U.S. on how best to 'strip Tony Blair's New Labour of its claims to be Christian'. Montgomerie was also working as a banker during this period.[13] Montgomerie worked at the Bank of England, where his responsibilities included the Russian economy and the study of systemic risk in financial systems.[14]

In September 1997 Montgomerie criticised William Hague for sharing a hotel room with his then fiancee Ffion Jenkins for the 1997 Conservative conference in Blackpool, Montgomerie criticised the arrangement because it 'fell short of the Christian ideal'.[15] According to Nick Cohen, writing in the Observer, Tim Montgomerie argued that the Conservative Party 'should not ask gays to vote for us', he argued that instead they must 'expose the unbiblical and the libertine'.[16].

Cohen argues that the Conservative Christian Fellowship's journal 'denounced gay soldiers as suicide risks, security risks, blackmail risks, health risks and rape risks' and that Montgomerie said that he was willing to give 'sacrificial care' to homosexuals who saw the error of the their ways.[17].

2000s

Renewing One Nation Task Force

In 2000 William Hague set up a 'Renewing One Nation' task force to shadow Labour's Social Exclusion Unit. The group was mainly funded by Stanley Kalms and Tim Montgomerie was selected to be the groups national director. When the task force was set up Montgomerie argued that 'The Conservative Party has not done enough to show that it cares about the same problems that they [Labour] do. We need to use a different language on some issues and we need to do a lot more policy thinking.'[18]

Montgomerie was criticised for being an unsuitable director for the groups because of his views on homosexuality. He was also criticised for arranging a visit to the UK for Marvin Olasky, a US christian 'guru' who 'condemns homosexuality and public welfare'.[19]

Working for Iain Duncan Smith

In July 2003, Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan Smith appointed Montgomerie as his chief political adviser.[20] Prior to taking up the post advising Duncan Smith, Montgomerie posted a series of prayers online, The Telegraph described the prayers as similar to those raised in any church on any Sunday, with a few exceptions including a prayer asking for 'MPs Andrew Selous and Gary Streeter as they seek to approach a number of potentially high-value donors'.[21] Montgomerie's role with Iain Duncan Smith meant that he relinquished his role as the director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship.[22]

Centre for Social Justice

In November 2003 Duncan Smith lost the Conservative Party leadership following a vote of no confidence. The following year Duncan Smith and Mongomerie set up the Centre for Social Justice.

ConservativeHome

On 28 March 2005 Montgomerie set up the ConservativeHome blog in an attempt to 'combine the concepts of a think-tank and online newspaper and its aim is to provide a forum for the revival of Conservative thinking and policies'.[23] Conservative Party Francis Maude sent Montgomerie to Washington in 2006 to help develop an online campaign strategy similar to the US campaigns that had succesfully discredited John Kerry's Democratic hopes in 2004. Montgomerie argued that the ConservativeHome blog could be used to tackle the 'left-wing bias' of the BBC.[24]

Montgormerie expressed admiration for Fox News in a 2006 editorial entitled Why I am convinced that the BBC is biased, he argued that the Fox News tagline 'fair and balanced' was 'not an innacurate description of the cable network's output'. Montgomerie accused the BBC of bias against Israel and anti-Americanism. He argued that:

The BBC is unlikely to be brought down by political reform. America's conservative politicians - like their British counterparts - were too afraid to take on the privileged position of the mainstream broadcasters. CBS, NBC and ABC were brought low by the bloggers and by the Fox phenomenon. Bloggers and Fox trailblazed new ways of presenting the news. Technology will do the same to the BBC. Britons will increasingly enjoy alternative sources of news and they will consume those alternatives in huge numbers.[25]

18Doughty Street

In September 2006 Montgomerie set up an internet television channel called 18Doughty Street in order to bypass the BBC's left wing bias. He set the venture up with Stephan Shakespeare the founder of YouGov and Conservative blogger Iain Dale.[26]

Nothing British

Montgomerie co-founded the anti-BNP campaign group Nothing British in 2009, he argued that:

By not contesting the ground we are giving them (the BNP) a walk-over on the critical playing fields of the internet. That's why I'm supporting a new online campaign to expose the party's true beliefs. The Left already has websites that target the BNP. NothingBritish.com is the first attempt by the centre-Right to offer a critique. It's a very focused campaign at present, but we hope it will grow into a very substantial resource that will ensure all moderate opinion shuns the BNP.[27]

Publications

Press Letters and Articles

  • Tim Montgomerie, Family Cost of Sunday Opening, The Independent, 3-December-1991
  • Tim Montgomerie, Sex Education in a Moral Vacuum, The Independent, 25-March-1994
  • Tim Mongomerie, Removing all temptation from sex education, The Independent, 28-March-1994
  • Tim Montgomerie, Hard Times for the Tory Party, The Independent, 12-October-1994
  • Tim Montgomerie, Charitable Tory Return, The Independent, 15-October-2000
  • Tim Montgomerie, A Tory revolt on Europe? Nonsense, The Guardian, 4-Octiber-2009
  • Tim Montgomerie, David Cameron is Ready for Number 10, The Guardian, 8-October-2009
  • Tim Montogmerie, Cameron's capitulation to Europe, The Guardian, 4-November-2009
  • Tim Montgomerie, Watching the BBC's Every Move, The Guardian, 13-November-2009
  • Tim Mongomerie, God and my Right, The Guardian, 25-February-2010
  • Tim Montgomerie, Make Immigration a Conservative Issue, The Guardian, 2-March-2010
  • Tim Montgomerie, Leaders must speak up on immigration, The Guardian, 31-March-2010
  • Tim Montgomerie, David Cameron, The Bureaucrat, The Guardian, 20-May-2010
  • Tim Montgomerie, Budget must trim fat from the NHS too, The Guardian, 21-June-2010
  • Tim Montgomerie, How the coalition can redefine the fight against poverty, The Guardian, 25-August-2010
  • Tim Montgomerie, Stop accusing Tories of being a cross between Fagin and Goebbels, The Guardian, 26-October-2010

Affiliations

Contact

External resources

Notes

  1. Tim Montgomerie, Tim Montgomerie moving to become Comment Editor of The Times (but he'll still be writing for ConservativeHome), Conservative.home, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, acc 9 April 2013
  2. Introducing Tim Montgomerie, ConservativeHome, accessed 14 February 2010.
  3. Introducing Tim Montgomerie, ConservativeHome, accessed 14 February 2010.
  4. Introducing Tim Montgomerie, ConservativeHome, accessed 14 February 2010.
  5. Introducing Tim Montgomerie, ConservativeHome, accessed 14 February 2010.
  6. Introducing Tim Montgomerie, ConservativeHome, accessed 14 February 2010.
  7. Friday BNP news round up, Nothing British, 2 October 2009.
  8. Tim Montgomerie, Sajid Javid selected for Bromsgrove, ConservativeHome.com, Accessed 30-January-2010
  9. Tim Montgomerie, Riots and deprivation, The Times, 27-September-1991
  10. Kevin Maguire, Policy and politics: 'Caring' unit head alarms Tories, The Guardian, 1-November-2000
  11. Tim Montgomerie, Letter: The Gospel According to Tony Blair, The Guardian, 10-April-1996
  12. Tim Montgomerie, Letter: Christians bring honesty to Westminster, The Independent, 10-April-1996
  13. Martin Wroe, Tories get US Election Aid for Holy War on Labour, The Independent, 26-January-1997
  14. Profile, Tim Montgomerie, Centre for Policy Studies, Accessed 30-January-2010
  15. Maurice Chittenden and Christopher Morgan, Tories' hotel pillow fight hits Hague where it hurts, The Sunday Times, 28-September-1997
  16. Nick Cohen, Comment: Without Prejudice: Let us pray for William Hague. Oh well, suit yourself, The Observer, 12-September-1999
  17. Nick Cohen, Comment: Without Prejudice: Let us pray for William Hague. Oh well, suit yourself, The Observer, 12-September-1999
  18. Tom Baldwin and Ruth Gledhill, Hague sets up unit to foster one nation, The Times, 8-September-2000
  19. Kevin Maguire, Policy and politics: 'Caring' unit head alarms Tories, The Guardian, 1-November-2000
  20. Benedict Brogan, Tory leader appoints evangelical as adviser, The Telegraph, 25-July-2003
  21. Andrew Sparrow, E-mails urge Tories to pray for Duncan Smith, The Telegraph, 05-September-2003
  22. News, IDS On His Knees, The Mirror, 11-October-2003
  23. Philip Webster, Tories plan to beat 'bias' by bringing in bloggers, The Times, 28-March-2005
  24. Tom Baldwin, Tories copy Republican dirty tricks on the web, The Times, 13-February-2006
  25. Tim Montgomerie, Why I am convinced that the BBC is biased, The Business, 6-August-2006
  26. Home News, Net challenge to BBC 'bias', The Times, 22-September-2006
  27. Tim Montgomerie, Voters need to know the truth about the BNP before it's too late, The Telegraph, 15-May-2009