Peter Riddell was appointed an Honorary Professor at UCL in March 2022. He has taken a long interest in constitutional issues, parliament and standards in public life, both as a journalist and subsequently in various other roles.
He joined the Financial Times in 1970 after graduating from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, with a degree in History and Economics. He served as Political Editor for seven years before becoming the paper’s Washington Bureau Chief. He joined The Times in 1991 serving as its chief political commentator until he retired from journalism after the 2010 election.
He has written ten books on politics, parliament and political careers.
Towards the end of his journalistic career, he became involved in other activities, initially as a trustee and then chair of the Hansard Society from 2007 until 2012, and then as Senior Fellow and then Director/Chief Executive of the Institute for Government from 2012 until 2016. He served for 18 months as a member of the Gibson inquiry into the involvement of UK intelligence agencies into the alleged mistreatment of detainees and rendition.
In spring 2016 he was appointed to the independent office holder post of Commissioner for Public Appointments where he served an extended term of five and a half years until September 2021. His other public roles have included conducting a review for the Cabinet Office into the future of the Committee on Standards in Public Life and serving on the Parliamentary and Political Service Honours Committee.
He has had close contacts with the academic world in various forms, notably with the Constitution Unit over more than two decades. He chaired the advisory panel of the ESRC’s Constitutional Change research programme from 2001 to 2006, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a recipient of the President’s Medal of the British Academy.
He served for six years as chair of the Governors of Dulwich College.