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Peter Cardwell


Peter Cardwell served as special adviser – or SpAd – in the UK Government for three and a half years.

As a former senior UK government adviser Peter Cardwell is uniquely placed to give a view of the state of and threats to politics in 2024, as three quarters of the democratic world goes to the polls. Peter explains the technological, AI and deepfake threats being faced around the world and the manipulation of elections and foreign government interference. Having campaigned in elections, covered them as a journalist and interviewed many experts from around the world on election manipulation on Britain’s TalkTV. Peter is an expert on how elections have been manipulated, how spying, deepfake and AI can influence democracy, as well as the role of targeted advertising, social media ads and how ‘nudge’ memes and reels can change minds.

He worked for four Cabinet ministers in four different departments: the Northern Ireland Office; Home Office; Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government; and at the Ministry of Justice. His job was to deliver influential tactical and strategic advice, crisis management, and media response during some of the most dramatic political events of recent times. He advised his bosses, and Prime Ministers Theresa May and Boris Johnson, before speeches and media interviews through the maelstrom of Brexit, the Windrush Affair and two elections, and indeed once lost a housing company £387m in a single day by sending a text message! And he once answered journalists’ questions about his boss’s multiple kitchen ovens for eight days straight. All part of the political world of twenty-four news and social media amplification.

Peter rBook cover Secret Live of Special Advisers by Peter Cardwellecounts all that experience in his acclaimed book The Secret Life of Special Advisers, recently published in paperback by Biteback.

Educated in Northern Ireland, Peter studied at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, before winning a Fulbright scholarship to the Columbia School of Journalism, New York.  He worked for the BBC in London, Washington DC, New York and Belfast, as well as for Sky News, Channel 5 News, UTV and ITV’s Good Morning Britain. As well as his post-politics work as Political Editor and presenter at TalkRadio, Peter consults in senior roles for a number of companies and is a non-executive director at a housing investment fund which provides housing for people coming out of homelessness, domestic abuse victims, care leavers and prison leavers. He is a frequent national and international media commentator on outlets including BBC radio and TV –  including Newsnight and the Today programme – Sky News, Times Radio, RTE, National Public Radio (USA) and in print titles including The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Belfast Telegraph, the Irish Times and Your Cat magazine. He is an expert on the cats of Westminster and is a former volunteer at Cats Protection. He has a rescue cat, Jack, too.

Peter Cardwell is a highly skilled presenter and now an award-winning TV discussion programme host on Britain’s TalkTV.

Specialist Speakers sponsored and presented Peter Cardwell at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Conference 2022 on 8 November at the National Gallery, London.

Contact Peter Cardwell via a Specialist Speakers agent on 01455 633289 to discuss both in-person and virtual appearances.


For availability, speaking enquiries and fees or to book Peter Cardwell contact a Specialist Speakers agent on 01455 633289 or email Specialist Speakers

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