Peter Jenkins (journalist)

Peter Jenkins (journalist)

Peter Jenkins (11 May, 1934–27 May, 1992) was a British journalist and Associate Editor of "The Independent". He wrote regular columns for "The Guardian", "The Sunday Times" and "The Independent". He was committed to a vision of a European Britain, anti-communist, but more socially inclusive than the American model of society. He belonged to a group of "Königswinter journalists", who —meeting with politicians and civil servants in Königswinter near Bonn, the then West German capital— attempted to build a pan-European group of opinion-formers, leaving behind the enmities of the past and looking forward to European community. After the death of his first wife, he married fellow journalist Polly Toynbee.

His daughter is Amy Jenkins, author of the cult 1990s TV serial about twentysomething lawyers, "This Life".

Peter George James Jenkins was educated at Culford School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he took a BA in History (the MA acquired later is an Honorary Degree). He began his career as a journalist with the "Financial Times" (1958-60) and progressed to "The Guardian" where he was variously their Labour Correspondent (1963-67), Washington Correspondent (1972-74), and Political Commentator and Policy Editor (1974-85). He was political columnist for "The Sunday Times" between 1985-87 and Associate Editor of "The Independent" from 1987 until his death.

Jenkins was also Theatre Critic for "The Spectator" between 1978-81 and his first stage play, Illuminations, was performed at the Lyric, Hammersmith in 1980. He also wrote the comedy series Struggle (broadcast on Channel 4 from 1983-1984), a satire on the Conservative - Labour battles in local government at the time [] .

He was a visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. Awards included Granada TV Journalist of the Year, 1978.


*cite book|last=Jenkins|first=Peter|title=The Battle of Downing Street|year=1970|publisher=London: Knight|id=ISBN 978-0853140689
*cite book|last=Jenkins|first=Peter|title=Where Trotskysm got lost: the restoration of European democracy after the Second World War|year=1977|publisher=Nottingham: Spokesman Pamphlet 59
*cite book|last=Jenkins|first=Peter|title=Mrs Thatcher's revolution: the ending of the socialist era|year=1987|publisher=London: Cape|id=ISBN 978-0674588325

Moreover some of his work has been collected in an edited book:

*cite book|last=Brivati, Brian, and Richard Cockett, eds. Introduction by Polly Toynbee|title=Anatomy of decline : the political journalism of Peter Jenkins|year=1995|publisher=London: Cassell|id=ISBN 0-304-34476-1


Marr, Andrew. "My trade. A short history of British journalism." London: Pan Macmillan, 2005. (p. 354 ff.)

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