Sir Simon David Jenkins FSA FRSL (born 10 June 1943) is a British
author and newspaper columnist and editor. He served as editor of the
Evening Standard from 1976 to 1978 and of
The Times from 1990 to 1992.
Jenkins chaired the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or
Natural Beauty from 2008 to 2014. He currently writes columns for both
The Guardian and Evening Standard.
1 Early life
2.3 Public appointments
3 Personal life and honours
4 Selected works
6 External links
Jenkins is the son of theologian and
United Reformed Church
United Reformed Church minister
Daniel Thomas Jenkins (1914–2002). He was born in Birmingham. He
was educated at
Mill Hill School
Mill Hill School and St John's College, Oxford, where
he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
After graduating from University of Oxford, Jenkins initially worked
at Country Life magazine, before joining the Times Educational
Supplement. He was then features editor and columnist on the Evening
Standard before editing the Insight pages of The Sunday Times.
From 1976 to 1978 he was editor of the Evening Standard, before moving
to become political editor of The Economist. He edited
The Times from
1990 to 1992, but since then has primarily worked as a columnist. In
1998 he received the
What the Papers Say Journalist of the Year award.
On 28 January 2005, he announced he was ending his 15-year association
The Times to write a book before joining
The Guardian as a
columnist. He retained a column at
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times and was a
contributing blogger at The Huffington Post. He gave up both on
becoming chairman of the National Trust in 2008, when he also resumed
an occasional column for the London Evening Standard.
On 14 April 2009,
The Guardian newspaper withdrew one of his articles
from its website after former
African National Congress
African National Congress leader and
South African President
Jacob Zuma sued the paper for defamation.
In February 2010, Jenkins, who had been in favour of the Falklands
War, argued in a Guardian article that the
Falkland Islands are an
example of anachronistic British colonialism and should be handed over
to Argentinian control. He said that they could be leased back under
the auspices of the UN. He remarked that the 2,500 or so British
islanders should not have an "unqualified veto on British government
policy". In March 2012, he stated on Question Time that Britain
should begin negotiating the handover of the
Falkland Islands to the
Argentine government. Only his fellow panellist
Alexei Sayle agreed;
the others and the audience disapproved.
In 2010 Jenkins spoke disparagingly on the Radio 4 Today programme
about the Shard, a skyscraper in south London. He was described as a
"professional miserabilist" in The Londonist.
Jenkins has expressed varying opinions on the subject of national
defence. In a piece in
The Guardian in 2010 he wrote that the
government should "cut [defence], all £45 billion of it... With the
end of the
Cold War in the 1990s that threat [from global communism]
vanished." However, he wrote in the same paper in 2016 in support of
NATO membership, saying: "It is a real deterrent, and its plausibility
rests on the assurance of collective response."
Jenkins voted for the UK to Remain within the European Union in the
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 arguing that
leaving would provide Germany with dominance over the remainder of the
union: "It would leave Germany effectively alone at the head of
Europe, alternately hesitant and bullying" 
Jenkins has written several books on the politics, history and
architecture of England, including England's Thousand Best
Churches and England's Thousand Best Houses. More recently in
his A Short History of England, he argues that the
British Empire "was
a remarkable institution that dismantled itself in good order." He
England is "the most remarkable country in European
Jenkins served on the boards of
British Rail 1979–1990 and London
Transport 1984–86. He was a member of the
Millennium Commission from
February 1994 to December 2000, and has also sat on the Board of
Trustees of The Architecture Foundation. From 1985 to 1990, he was
deputy chairman of English Heritage.
In July 2008, it was announced that he had been chosen as the new
chairman of the National Trust; he took over the post from William
Proby in November of that year. Although Jenkins had in the past been
critical of some aspects of the Trust's work, he said he was "very
pleased" by his appointment, and that the Trust was "one of England's
great institutions". As chairman of the National Trust, a post he
held until November 2014, Jenkins campaigned vociferously against the
building of new houses, although according to then housing minister
Nick Boles he himself owned "at least two homes".
Personal life and honours
Insignia of Knight Bachelor
Jenkins married the American actress
Gayle Hunnicutt in 1978; the
couple had one son. They separated in 2008 and have since
divorced. He married Hannah Kaye in 2014.
Jenkins was appointed a
Knight Bachelor for services to journalism in
the 2004 New Year honours.
Simon Jenkins (1969) Education and Labour's Axe, Bow Publications,
Simon Jenkins (1971) Here to Live: Study of Race Relations in an
English Town Runnymede Trust, ISBN 0-902397-12-5
Simon Jenkins (1975) Landlords to London: Story of a Capital and Its
Growth Constable, ISBN 0-09-460150-X
Simon Jenkins (1979) Newspapers: The Power and the Money Faber,
Simon Jenkins (1981) Newspapers Through the Looking-glass Manchester
Statistical Society, ISBN 0-85336-058-8
Simon Jenkins and
Andrew Graham-Yooll (1983) Imperial Skirmishes: War
And Gunboat Diplomacy In Latin America Diane Publishing,
Simon Jenkins and Anne Sloman (1985) With Respect, Ambassador: Enquiry
into the Foreign Office BBC, ISBN 0-563-20329-3
Simon Jenkins (1986) The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in
the Twentieth Century Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-14627-9
Simon Jenkins and Robert Ilson (1992) "The Times" English Style and
Usage Guide Times Books ISBN 0-7230-0396-3
Simon Jenkins (1993) The Selling of Mary Davies and Other Writings
John Murray, ISBN 0-7195-5298-2
Max Hastings and
Simon Jenkins (1992) Battle for the Falklands M
Joseph, ISBN 0-7181-2578-9
Simon Jenkins (1994) Against the Grain, John Murray,
Simon Jenkins (1995) Accountable to None: Tory Nationalization of
Britain Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-13591-5
Simon Jenkins (1999) England's Thousand Best Churches Allen Lane,
Simon Jenkins (2003) England's Thousand Best Houses Allen Lane,
Simon Jenkins (2006) Thatcher & Sons – A Revolution in
Three Acts Penguin, ISBN 978-0-7139-9595-4
Simon Jenkins (2008) "Wales: Churches, Houses, Castles" Allen Lane,
Simon Jenkins (2011) A Short
History of England
History of England Profile Books,
^ a b c "'JENKINS, (Sir) Simon David', Who's Who 2012, A & C
Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec
2011". (subscription required)
^ Kaye, Elaine. "Jenkins, Daniel Thomas in OxfordDNB". Retrieved 20
^ Timms, Dominic (27 January 2005). "Times columnist
Simon Jenkins to
join the Guardian". The Guardian. London: MediaGuardian. Retrieved 2
^ a b c McSmith, Andy (5 July 2008). "Sir Simon Jenkins: History Man".
London: The Independent. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
^ Jenkins, Simon (9 September 2010). "
Simon Jenkins @ The Huffington
Post". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
^ Ponsford, Dominic (19 January 2009). "
Simon Jenkins column returns
to Evening Standard". Press Gazette. Archived from the original on 16
June 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
^ "Zuma sues London's Guardian". South African Mail & Guardian. 14
April 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
^ Jenkins, Simon (25 February 2010). "Falklands... Britain's expensive
nuisance". London: Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
^ "A visually exciting building ... in the wrong place". BBC. 9
December 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
^ "Central Core of
The Shard Tops Out". Londonist. 9 December 2010.
Retrieved 19 January 2011.
^ "War of Jenkins' ear". Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd. 2
^ "I fear German dominance. That's why I'm for remaining in the EU".
The Guardian. 2016-06-16. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved
^ Jenkins, Simon (2003) "England's Thousand Best Churches", Manchester
Memoirs; vol. 140 (2001–02), pp. 10–20 (part of a lecture he gave
to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 29 October 2001)
^ Oliver Kamm (3 September 2011). "Simon Jenkins's potted history of
England". The Times.
Simon Jenkins (24 September 2011). "The potent sweep of English
history". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 September
^ "Millennium Commissioners". Millennium Commission. Archived from the
original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
^ Kennedy, Maev (3 July 2008). "Writer
Simon Jenkins to chair National
Trust". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
^ McSmith, Andy. "And we still don't know how many homes Sir Simon
has". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 March 2013.
Retrieved 26 February 2015.
^ Eden, Richard (26 July 2008). "Sir Simon Jenkins's wife files for
divorce". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
^ Shakespeare, Sebastian (17 November 2014). "National Trust chief,
71, weds his young treasure". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 October
Simon Jenkins columns at The Guardian
Simon Jenkins columns at The Huffington Post
Simon Jenkins columns at the London Evening Standard
Simon Jenkins columns at The Spectator
Simon Jenkins on Journalisted
Works by or about
Simon Jenkins in libraries (
Debrett's People of Today
Deputy Editor of the Evening Standard
Editor of the Evening Standard
Editor of The Times
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