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Andreas Whittam Smith

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Andreas Smith


Andreas Whittam Smith Sir Andreas Whittam Smith to leave role at Church Commissioners

13 June 1937
Macclesfield, Cheshire, England

JournalistNewspaper editor


Friday 8 July Item 9 - Church Commissioners' Annual Report

Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, (born Macclesfield 13 June 1937) is an English financial journalist, who was one of the founders of The Independent newspaper which began publication in October 1986 with Whittam Smith as editor. He is a former president of the British Board of Film Classification.


Inspired by continental European newspaper photography

Early life and education

The son of an Anglican clergyman in the Diocese of Chester, he moved from Macclesfield to Birkenhead in 1940. He was educated at Birkenhead School, and Keble College, Oxford.


Most of his career has been spent in the City in journalism, including as city editor of The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, and as editor of the Investors Chronicle from 1970 to 1977, and Stock Exchange Gazette. He was a founder and first editor of The Independent newspaper from 1986 to 1993. He still contributes articles on a regular basis.

Whittam Smith was chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service from 2001 to 2003. He is also a director of Independent News and Media (UK), Vice Chairman of Tunbridge Wells Equitable Friendly Society, and a vice-president of the National Council for One Parent Families. He was appointed president of the British Board of Film Classification in 1998, instigating liberalisation of film and video censorship, a post from which he resigned in 2002. He has been on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation.

Church of England

On 6 March 2002, Whittam Smith was appointed the First Church Estates Commissioner, a senior lay person in the Church of England. As such, he is Chairman of the Church Commissioners' Assets Committee (an investment portfolio of £7 billion), and a member of the Church Commissioners' Board of Governors, the General Synod of the Church of England, and the Archbishops' Council. It was announced in September 2016 that he would be stepping down as First Church Estates Commissioner in June 2017.

Democracy 2015

In 2012 Whittam Smith started the Democracy 2015 movement to attempt to reform how British democracy functions. The movement's stated aim was to achieve a House of Commons majority in 2015 and form a reformist government independent of parliamentary parties and composed of non-politicians volunteering to stand for a single term only. The movement stood a candidate, Adam Lotun, in the Corby by-election on 15 November 2012. He came 13th out of 14 candidates, with 35 votes.


In 1988 he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) by the University of Bath.

In 2003, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was made a Knight Bachelor "for public service, particularly to the Church of England", and therefore granted the title sir.

In Juky 2017, he was awarded the Canterbury Cross for Services to the Church of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Andreas Whittam Smith Wikipedia

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