New Statesman

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The New Statesman is a British political magazine published weekly in London. It was formerly co-owned by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson and millionaire businessman Mike Danson, the founder of information firm Datamonitor. The magazine says it is committed to "development, human rights and the environment, global issues the mainstream press often ignores". In the issue dated 29 May 2006, editor John Kampfner stated that the New Statesman remained "true to its heritage of radical politics".

In April 2009 Danson took full ownership of the magazine after Geoffrey Robinson sold him his own stake.[1]


The New Statesman was founded in 1913 by Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb with the support of George Bernard Shaw and other prominent members of the Fabian Society, and its first editor was Clifford Sharp. Sharp remained editor until 1928, though during his last two years in post he was debilitated by chronic alcoholism and the paper was actually edited by his deputy Charles Mostyn Lloyd, who stood in after Sharp's departure until the appointment of Kingsley Martin as editor in 1930 – a position Martin was to hold for 30 years.

The Statesman was rescued from this near-bankruptcy by a takeover by the businessman Philip Jeffrey but in 1996, after prolonged boardroom wrangling over Jeffrey's plans, it was sold to Geoffrey Robinson, the Labour MP and businessman. He fired Platt, and appointed Ian Hargreaves,the former editor of the Independent as editor. Hargreaves in turn fired most of the left-wingers on the staff and turned the Statesman into a strong supporter of Tony Blair as Labour leader. Hargreaves was succeeded by Peter Wilby in 1998, who moved the paper back to the left. John Kampfner, Wilby's political editor, succeeded him as editor in May 2005 following considerable internal conflict. Under Kampfner's editorship, the Statesman has swung back away from progressive politics, and increased its coverage of ephemeral media stories. A constant under both Wilby and Kampfner was an attempt to increase the revenue of the magazine via advertising. On February 2008, Kampfner resigned, and was replaced by Sue Matthias as acting editor, until Jason Cowley was appointed as editor[2].

New Labour Connection

The New Statesman paid the Labour Party more than £5,000 for sponsorship in 1998.

The New Statesman magazine is owned by Geoffrey Robinson, the millionaire former Labour Paymaster General who lent his estate in Tuscany to Tony Blair for free holidays in 1996 and 1997, gave £60,000 to the 'John Smith Trust' (which was used for Gordon Brown's pre-election work) and finally had to resign over his undeclared £373,000 loan to Peter Mandelson.

Geoffrey Robinson bought the New Statesman in 1996 for £375,000 and fired its left-wing editor and staff to turn it into a strong supporter of Tony Blair. Robinson used a company called Stenbell to pay the salaries of the New Statesman staff, but got into trouble with the parliamentary standards watchdog when he used Stenbell to transfer £10 million worth of shares to a tax-free offshore trust without declaring his ownership of the company.

Euston Manifesto

Under its former political editor, Martin Bright the publication took a decidedly hawkish line. On 17 April, 2006 the New Statesman dedicated a whole issue to the launch of the neocon Euston Manifesto. Martin Bright's own blog also features guests from the Islamophobic Harry's Place.


  • Hyams, Edward. The New Statesman: the history of the first fifty years 1913-63. Longman. 1963.
  • Rolph, C. H (ed) Kingsley: the life, letters and diaries of Kingsley Martin Victor Gollancz. 1973. ISBN 0-575-01636-1
  • Howe, Stephen (ed) Lines of Dissent: writing from the New Statesman 1913 to 1988. Verso. 1988. ISBN 0860912078
  • Smith, Adrian The New Statesman: portrait of a political weekly. Frank Cass.1996. ISBN 0-7146-4645-8

List of editors


External links


  1. Daniel Farey-Jones, Geoffrey Robinson sells stake in New Statesman, BrandRepublic, 15/4/09, acc 6 May 2010
  2. Stephen Brook, Cowley named as New Statesman editor, Guardian, 16 May 2008
  3. Stephen Brook, Cowley named as New Statesman editor, Guardian, 16 May 2008