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John Pienaar

John Pienaar


John Pienaar is the BBC’s Senior Political Correspondent, both on television news and Radio 5 Live. One of his roles is to beat a path through the forest of Government spin. He is ideally positioned to give the inside scoop on the political scene.

When New Labour scored their second election victory, John described how the order went out to avoid embarrassing displays of triumphalism: “The Spin Doctors knew exactly what to do – they wasted no time at all papering over all the windows!”

A former Political Correspondent for The Independent, joining the paper at its launch in 1986, and working as one of the late Tony Bevins’ original team. John penned their cutting and often controversial parliamentary sketch, knowm as the Westminster Diary.

John originally trained at the South London Press, where he wrote about whatever was happening on his doorstep: urban crime, domestic violence, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. He then became an Old Bailey Correspondent and even wrote an angling column (without ever having held a fishing rod in his life).

John is an experienced facilitator and chairman of conferences as well as an incisive speaker on the politics, current affairs and the environment.

It was announced in February 2020 that John Pienaar would be one of the first high profile recruits to Times Radio, the new speech-based radio channel owned by News UK.


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