Daniel Finkelstein

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The Lord Finkelstein
File:Daniel Finkelstein at Ten Years of Shaping the Policy Agenda.jpg
Finkelstein speaking in 2012
Born Daniel William Finkelstein
(1962-08-30) 30 August 1962 (age 58)
Nationality British
Education University College School
Alma mater London School of Economics
City University London
Occupation Journalist
Political party Social Democratic Party (1981 – 1990)
Conservative Party (c. 1990 – present)
Relatives Alfred Wiener (grandfather)
Anthony Finkelstein (brother)

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, but 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] It was announced that he would be elevated to the House of Lords in August 2013.[3]


Finkelstein is Jewish; his mother was a Holocaust survivor, while his father Ludwik (Ludwig) Finkelstein OBE was born in Lviv, then in Poland, and became Professor of Measurement and Instrumentation at City University London.[4][5] He is a grandson, via his mother, of Dr. Alfred Wiener, the Jewish activist and founder of the Wiener Library. He is the brother of Prof. Anthony Finkelstein FREng, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London.

He was educated at University College School, the London School of Economics (BSc, 1984) and City University London (MSc, 1986).[6] Daniel Finkelstein has three children: Aron, Isaac and Samuel.

Political career

Between 1981 and 1990 Daniel 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.[7] 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 Conservative Party.

Before working for the Conservative Party, Daniel 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.

Conservative Party

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.[8]


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

Finkelstein was awarded the OBE in the 1997 honours list.[9] In 2011 Daniel Finkelstein was awarded the "PSA 2011 Journalist of the Year Award".[10] It was announced at the beginning of August 2013 that Finkelstein was to be made a life peer.[11] He was created Baron Finkelstein, of Pinner in the County of Middlesex on 11 September 2013.[12]

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


  1. "JC Power 100: Numbers 50 - 11", The Jewish Chronicle, 10 September 2014
  2. "Policy Exchange appoints David Frum as new chairman", Policy Exchange, 19 September 2014
  3. Working Peerages announced Gov.uk
  4. "Obituary - Professor Ludwik Finkelstein OBE FREng". City University London. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Professor Ludwik Finkelstein". The Times. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  6. ‘FINKELSTEIN’, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2013
  7. The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1987
  8. http://www.jewishtelegraph.com/prof_150.html
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54850. p. 8912. 2 August 1997.
  10. "Political Studies Association Website".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. David Blackburn "New working peers announced", The Sperctator (blog), 1 August 2013
  12. The London Gazette: no. 60627. p. 18117. 13 September 2013.

External links