Jonathan Aitken

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Biographical Information

"Jonathan Aitken is an author, broadcaster, columnist, lecturer and campaigner for prison reform. He is a former Cabinet Minister, Member of Parliament, and ex-prisoner.

"His 12 books include his award-winning biography of President Richard Nixon, Nixon: A Life (1993); and two volumes of autobiography, Pride and Perjury (2000) and Porridge and Passion (2006). His most recent publication is John Newton from Disgrace to Amazing Grace (2007). For a full list of Jonathan Aitken’s published titles and how to buy them go to “Books”.

"His political career included 23 years as a Member of Parliament. He was Minister of State for Defence and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In 2007 he was appointed to chair the Centre for Social Justice’s policy study group on Prison Reform.

"After graduating in Law from Christ Church, Oxford in 1964 he became a Fleet Street journalist. He was a senior reporter and feature writer for the London Evening Standard serving as a war correspondent in Vietnam, Biafra and The Middle East. He continues to write articles for a wide range of newspapers and magazines. He is a regular columnist for the American Spectator.

"After journalism he went into business and became chairman of a merchant bank in the City of London.

In 1974 he became a Conservative Member of Parliament spending eighteen years on the backbenches until being appointed Minister of State for Defence in 1992. He joined the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1994.

"His political career ended when he told a lie on oath in a libel action. Subsequently he pleaded guilty to charges of perjury and served a seven-month prison sentence in 1999. After graduating with Distinction in theology after two years at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford (2000-2002) he began a new career as a writer, lecturer, and broadcaster.

"His wider activities include being a director of Prison Fellowship International, executive director of The Trinity Forum in Europe; and Honorary President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. In 2007 he was appointed Chairman of the Centre for Social Justice’s policy study group on Prison Reform." [1]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. CV, Jonathan Aitken, accessed December 2, 2011.
  2. Team, Working Chance, accessed December 2, 2011.
  3. Narco Council, organizational web page, accessed June 29, 2012.