Daniel Finkelstein

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The Lord Finkelstein

Daniel Finkelstein at Ten Years of Shaping the Policy Agenda.jpg
Finkelstein speaking in 2012
Daniel William Finkelstein

(1962-08-30) 30 August 1962 (age 58)
EducationUniversity College School
Alma mater
  • Journalist
  • Politician
Political party

Daniel William Finkelstein, Baron Finkelstein, OBE (born 30 August 1962) is a British journalist and politician. He is a former executive editor of The Times, remains a weekly political columnist, and is now associate editor.[1] He is a former chairman of Policy Exchange who was succeeded by David Frum in 2014[2] and previously sat on the board of the far-right Gatestone Institute.[3] He was made a member of the House of Lords in August 2013,[4] sitting as a Conservative.


Finkelstein is Jewish; his mother, Mirjam Finkelstein, was a Holocaust survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp,[5] while his father Ludwik Finkelstein OBE was born in Lviv (then in Poland but now in Ukraine), and became Professor of Measurement and Instrumentation at City University London.[6][7] He is a grandson, via his mother, of Dr Alfred Wiener, the Jewish activist and founder of the Wiener Library.[5] He is the brother of Prof. Anthony Finkelstein FREng, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London and of Tamara Finkelstein, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

He was educated at University College School, the London School of Economics (BSc, 1984) and City University London (MSc, 1986).[8]

Political career[edit]


Between 1981 and 1990, Finkelstein was a member of the SDP, becoming Chair of the Young Social Democrats on the defection of his predecessor Keith Toussaint to the Conservative Party during the 1983 general election campaign.[9] Subsequently he was elected youth representative on its National Committee, selected as a parliamentary candidate (Brent East 1987) and became a close ally and adviser to David Owen, the SDP leader. When the merger with the Liberal Party was proposed, Finkelstein was among the leading opponents and refused to join the merged party. After Owen had announced his resignation from politics, Finkelstein was the spokesman for a group of young SDP members who joined the Conservatives.

Think tanks[edit]

Before working for the Conservative Party, Finkelstein was Director of the think tank the Social Market Foundation for three years. During his period with the SMF the organisation brought New York police commissioner Bill Bratton to London, for the first time introducing UK politicians to the successful new strategies being used there.

Finkelstein was formerly on the board of the Gatestone Institute,[10][3] a far-right think tank known for publishing anti-Muslim articles.[11][12]

In 2018 he became chairman of the new think tank Onward, whose mission is to renew the centre right for the next generation.[13]

Conservative Party[edit]

Between 1995 and 1997 Finkelstein was Director of the Conservative Research Department and in that capacity advised Prime Minister John Major and attended meetings of the Cabinet when it sat in political session. Finkelstein became among the earliest advocates of the 'modernisation' of the Conservative Party, laying out the principles of change in a series of speeches and columns in The Times.

Between 1997 and 2001 he was political adviser to the Leader of the Opposition William Hague and, together with George Osborne, Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet.

In the 2001 election Finkelstein was the unsuccessful Conservative parliamentary candidate in Harrow West.[14]


Finkelstein (right) with Francis Maude, at a Policy Exchange event in 2013

Between 1990 and 1992, Finkelstein was the editor of Connexion, Britain's first Internet and data communications newspaper.[citation needed] Finkelstein joined The Times in August 2001 as part of the leader writing team and was Comment Editor from March 2004 to June 2008. He became Chief Leader Writer in June 2008. He began The Times blog Comment Central in September 2006. He is also a regular columnist in The Jewish Chronicle. His weekly football statistics column, the Fink Tank, began in 2002 and runs in The Times on Saturdays.

Honours and awards[edit]

Finkelstein was awarded the OBE in the 1997 honours list.[15] In 2011 Daniel Finkelstein was awarded the "PSA 2011 Journalist of the Year Award".[16] It was announced at the beginning of August 2013 that Finkelstein was to be made a life peer.[17] He was created Baron Finkelstein, of Pinner in the London Borough of Harrow on 11 September 2013.[18]

Finkelstein was given an honorary Doctor of Science degree by City University London in 2011.[19]

He is a Vice President of the Jewish Leadership Council.[20]


  1. ^ "JC Power 100: Numbers 50 – 11", The Jewish Chronicle. London. 10 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Policy Exchange appoints David Frum as new chairman" (Press release). Policy Exchange. 19 September 2014. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014.,
  3. ^ a b "Opinion: It shouldn't have taken a report from outside the Muslim community for Tory Islamophobia to be taken seriously". The Independent. 18 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Working peerages announced" (Press release). Prime Minister's office. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Mirjam Finkelstein, Holocaust educator, friend of Anne Frank and survivor of Bergen-Belsen, dies aged 83". The Jewish Chronicle. London. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Obituary – Professor Ludwik Finkelstein OBE FREng" (Press release). City University London. 6 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Professor Ludwik Finkelstein". The Times. London. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2016. (subscription required)
  8. ^ 'FINKELSTEIN', Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2013
  9. ^ The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1987
  10. ^ "A man of his Times: Lord Danny Finkelstein". The Spectator. 28 September 2013.
  11. ^ Gjelten, Tom (6 April 2018). "Trump's National Security And State Department Picks Alarm American Muslims". NPR.
  12. ^ Cerulus, Laurens (17 July 2017). "Germany's anti-fake news lab yields mixed results". Politico.
  13. ^ "Onward, the think tank on a mission to remake conservatism". New Statesman. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  14. ^ Zatman, Alex (2012). "Shoah memories spur writer Daniel to seek truth and courage". Jewish Telegraph. Manchester.
  15. ^ "No. 54850". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 August 1997. p. 8912.
  16. ^ "Political Studies Association Website". Archived from the original on 29 May 2012.
  17. ^ David Blackburn "New working peers announced", The Sperctator (blog), 1 August 2013
  18. ^ "No. 60627". The London Gazette. 13 September 2013. p. 18117.
  19. ^ "Lord Finkelstein, OBE". city.ac.uk. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Dame Louise ellman MP". Jewish Leadership Council. Retrieved 17 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Whitby
Baron Finkelstein
Followed by
The Lord Carrington of Fulham