Dominic Lawson

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The Honourable
Dominic Lawson
Born (1956-12-17) 17 December 1956 (age 62)
Wandsworth, London, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Occupation Newspaper Columnist
Spouse(s) Jane Whytehead (1982–1991)
Rosa Monckton (1991–present)
Children Domenica and Savannah; Natalia (deceased)
Parent(s) Nigel Lawson
Vanessa Salmon

Dominic Ralph Campden Lawson (born 17 December 1956 in Wandsworth, London)[1] is an English journalist.


The elder son of Conservative politician Nigel Lawson and his first wife socialite Vanessa Salmon, Lawson was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. Lawson had three sisters: the TV chef and writer Nigella Lawson; Horatia; and Thomasina, who died of breast cancer in 1993 in her early 30s. Their mother, an heir to the Lyons Corner House empire, died from liver cancer in 1985. Lawson is a cousin to the journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot and the solicitor Fiona Shackleton through the Salmon family.[2] Lawson's father was Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1983 and 1989.

Lawson was married to Jane Whytehead from 1982 until 1991.[3] He has been married to Rosa Monckton, daughter of the 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, since 1991. The Lawsons have two daughters (another daughter, Natalia, was stillborn), Domenica and Savannah; Domenica has Down's syndrome. Monckton is a patron of the disabled children's charity KIDS[4] and is involved in Down's charity work. Rosa Monckton has talked to the press about how Down's has affected her and her daughters' lives.[5]


Lawson joined the BBC as a researcher, and then wrote for the Financial Times. From 1990 until 1995 he was editor of The Spectator magazine, a post his father had occupied from 1966 to 1970. In his capacity as editor of The Spectator he conducted, in June 1990, an interview with the cabinet minister Nicholas Ridley in which Ridley expressed opinions immensely hostile to Germany and the European Community, likening the initiatives of Jacques Delors and others to those of Hitler.[6] Lawson added to the damage caused, by claiming that the opinions expressed by Ridley were shared by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Ridley was forced to resign from the cabinet shortly after this incident. Although senior Tories[who?] called for Lawson to be fired, his proprietor, Conrad Black, stood by him. Under Lawson's five-year editorship, the magazine's circulation grew from 30,000 to 50,000.[citation needed] It also won the "What The Papers Say" award for best newspaper – the first and only time it was awarded to a magazine.[citation needed]

From 1995 until 2005, Lawson was editor of The Sunday Telegraph. In 2000 the newspaper was named "Newspaper of the Year" at the British Press Awards.[citation needed] In 2006, he started to write columns for The Independent newspaper and in 2008, he became the main columnist for The Sunday Times. In his article for The Independent dated 2 September 2013, he wrote that it would be his last for that newspaper, although he did not give a reason.

He is a strong chessplayer and is the author of The Inner Game, on the inside story of the 1993 World Chess Championship. He was also involved in the organisation of the 1983 World Chess championship semi-final.[7] Lawson writes a monthly chess column in Standpoint.[8] In 2014 he was elected president of the English Chess Federation.[9]

Richard Tomlinson alleged in 2001 that Lawson had worked with the intelligence agency MI6, but Lawson denied being an agent.[10]


  1. Ben Summerskill (28 January 2001). "A spy who never was". The Observer. Retrieved 3 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Kevin Bean. "Selected Families and Individuals". Retrieved 3 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Hon. Dominic Ralph Campden Lawson". The Peerage. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. [1], KIDS – Our Patrons
  5. "My Down's daughter changed my life", Daily Mail, 14 November 2007. Retrieved on 25 April 2009.
  6. Dominic Lawson (24 September 2011). "Ridley was right". The Spectator.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Dominic Lawson (1 February 2011). "A true champion won't accept defeat". The Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Chess columns". Standpoint Magazine.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Pein, Malcolm (24 October 2014). "Lawson talks chess". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Editor 'provided cover for spies'", The Guardian, 26 January 2001. Retrieved on 1 April 2007.


External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Charles Moore
Editor of The Spectator
Succeeded by
Frank Johnson
Preceded by
Charles Moore
Editor of The Sunday Telegraph
Succeeded by
Sarah Sands