Charles Moore, Baron Moore of Etchingham
Charles Hilary Moore, Baron Moore of Etchingham (born 31 October 1956) is an English journalist and a former editor of The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator and The Sunday Telegraph; he still writes for all three. He is known for his authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, published in three volumes (2013, 2016 and 2019). Under the government of Boris Johnson, in July 2020 Moore was given a peerage and made a member of the House of Lords.
The Lord Moore of Etchingham
|Member of the House of Lords|
|Assumed office |
13 October 2020
Charles Hilary Moore
31 October 1956
Hastings, Sussex, England
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Known for||Authorised biographer of Margaret Thatcher|
Moore was born in Hastings, East Sussex. He is from a Liberal family. His mother was a county councillor for the Liberal Party in Sussex and his father Richard was a leader writer on the News Chronicle, who unsuccessfully stood for the party at several general elections.
While at Eton in 1974 Moore wrote about his membership of the Liberals in the Eton Chronicle and also about his taste for real ale. During this period he was already a friend of Oliver Letwin. Moore remained a Liberal into his early twenties.
Moore went to Trinity College, Cambridge, at the same time as Letwin. At Eton he had also known Nicholas Coleridge, who was also at Trinity. He read English (2.1) and History (2.1) and graduated BA in 1979. By now an advocate of architectural conservation, he became an admirer of the work in this field of Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.
In 1979 he joined The Daily Telegraph as a political correspondent, and, after a short period on the 'Peterborough' gossip column, was writing leaders within two years, by the age of 24. In 1982 Moore wrote a pamphlet for the Salisbury Group, titled The Old People of Lambeth (1982). In the aftermath of the 1981 Brixton riot, (which Moore blamed on "poorly planned mass immigration"), Moore interviewed elderly white residents of Lambeth on their experience of crime, the police, immigration and politics. Moore wrote: "The native population of Lambeth feels little natural sympathy with the West Indian arrivals. Without having any arrogant or dogmatic theory of racial superiority, the old people of Lambeth can see with their own eyes that they are surrounded by people more primitive than they, who lack their respect for law and privacy". In the final paragraph, Moore wrote of the old people's loyalty to the Royal Family, their memories of the two world wars, their work ethic and their readiness to obey the law: "As one old man said simply, 'It's our country and our Queen. Why should we be afraid to go out?'"
In 1992 in an article questioning the success of the welfare policies intended to combat historical social problems, Moore supportively claimed there was a perception in America that some groups might be more able than others, which he then went on to support: "The Korean sets up the grocery store which the black then robs, that is the caricature that America recognises", and that there was a prejudice often voiced in conversation but hardly ever put into print "that there really is something different about blacks, or at least about young black men" and "If it is true, as it surely is that some races – the Jews are the obvious example – are highly enterprising and talented, it may also be true that some are the opposite."
In September 2003 Moore launched a new column, Beebwatch, that he claimed will "delve into the unconscious bias" of the corporation. "The BBC's mental assumptions are those of the fairly soft left, that American power is a bad thing, whereas the UN is good, that the Palestinians are in the right and Israel isn't, that the war in Iraq was wrong, that the European Union is a good thing and that people who criticise it are xenophobic," says Moore.
Two years after joining The Spectator as a political columnist, Moore became the magazine's editor in 1984, remaining there until 1990. Moore was given this role by the owner, John “Algy” Cluff, whose company Cluff Resources specialises in “support activities” for oil and gas extraction and is co-located with a number of climate change denial think-tanks at 55 or 57 Tufton Street.
Moore employed a young journalist Boris Johnson at The Spectator, who went onto succeed Moore as Editor of the Spectator and then became Mayor of London, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Moore co-edited A Tory Seer: The Selected Journalism of T. E. Utley, which was published in 1989.
Editor of the Sunday Telegraph
Following The Spectator, he edited The Sunday Telegraph from 1992 to 1995. Near the start of this period, around the time of the publication of the Andrew Morton book Diana: Her True Story, he appeared on Newsnight to discuss the marital difficulties of the Prince and Princess of Wales. To the astonishment of the presenter, Jeremy Paxman, Moore said that because he wished to protect the monarchy: "I believe in the importance of concealment in these matters and, if you like, hypocrisy."
Editor of the Daily Telegraph
Moore became editor of The Daily Telegraph in 1995. In 2001, his signed editorial "A Free Country" gained some notice elsewhere in the media. In this article, he argued in favour of hunting, pornography, the right to employ whom we choose, the right to trial by jury and advocated the legalisation of cannabis. He blamed a decline in "freedom" on the controls imposed during the Second World War and on Margaret Thatcher: "If you've been in office for a long time you always start to believe in having more power, and she undoubtedly got that disease."
False allegations against George Galloway
Owing to falling circulation, there had been speculation by 2003 about Moore's future prior to his resignation in the autumn of that year. Moore had been editor when stories about George Galloway, which led to a successful libel action from the politician, were published. The newspaper had falsely written that Galloway received payments from Saddam Hussein's regime.
Since leaving the editorship of the Daily Telegraph in 2003, to spend more time writing Thatcher's authorised biography, Moore has penned regular columns at The Spectator and at the Daily Telegraph.
Chairman of Policy Exchange (?-2011)
Moore was for a number of years chairman of Policy Exchange, a London-based think-tank, before he stepped down in June 2011. In December 2007 he entered the debate over The Hijacking of British Islam, a Policy Exchange report which the BBC had found to rely on evidence that was clearly fabricated, On 17 December 2007, The Times issued an apology to Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari of the East London Mosque in connection with its coverage of the report originally defended by Moore.
Policy Exchange did not bring its threatened legal action against the BBC but in September 2008, the Finsbury Park Mosque issued a writ in the High Court over the report's allegations. In March 2009, the report appeared to have been removed from the Policy Exchange website, and a correction notice was published. The case came to the High Court in December 2009 but was struck out by the Judge on the basis that the Mosque could not sue for defamation as it was not a corporate entity or legal person.
Biographer of Margaret Thatcher
Following the death of Margaret Thatcher on 8 April 2013, during his appearance on the Question Time programme three days later, Moore criticised the BBC for giving too much publicity to the Thatcher critics who were celebrating her death. Menzies Campbell accused Moore of suffering from "a persecution complex". On 17 April, the day of Thatcher's funeral, Moore said that parts of the country showing enmity were considered "relatively less important".
Moore left his post as editor of The Daily Telegraph in 2003 to spend more time writing Thatcher's authorised biography. Always intended to be published after her death, the first volume, titled Not For Turning, was published in 2013 shortly after her funeral. (The US edition of this initial volume was retitled Margaret Thatcher, The Authorized Biography: From Grantham to the Falklands.) Moore does not know exactly why he was chosen to write the biography, but believes it was probably because of his age, and because he was familiar with all the main characters of Thatcher's time in government, without being especially strongly linked to any one of them. He was selected by Thatcher, without his prior knowledge, out of a list of names which were presented to her.
The first volume of Moore's three-volume work received the £5,000 Elizabeth Longford Prize in 2014.
- Moore, Charles, & Simon Heffer (1989). A Tory Seer: The Selected Journalism of T. E. Utley. Foreword by Margaret Thatcher; Introduction by Enoch Powell. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 9780241127285.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Moore, Charles (2013). Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography, Volume One: Not for Turning. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 9780713992823.
- Moore, Charles (2015). Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography, Volume Two: Everything She Wants. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 9780713992885.
- Moore, Charles (2019). Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography, Volume Three: Herself Alone. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 9780241324745.
Moore married Caroline Baxter (whom he had met at university) during 1981 in Tunbridge Wells. The couple have two children.
Moore converted to Roman Catholicism following the Church of England's decision to allow the ordination of women as priests in 1992. His wife, a former English don at Peterhouse, Cambridge, chose not to make such a move and remains an Anglican.
Moore is a monarchist and says the monarchy "reaches parts politics cannot reach". He supported Brexit and has criticised the BBC's Brexit and climate change coverage. In The Spectator in 2018 he wrote that "religious freedom is central to all freedoms". In September 2020, Moore referred to Black Lives Matter as a "Marxist movement whose doctrines about white people are explicitly racist".
Critic of the BBC
Moore is a critic of the BBC, which he believes has a left-wing bias. Moore was fined £262 for not possessing a TV licence in May 2010, eighteen months after announcing that he would donate the amount payable as a television licence to Help the Aged because the BBC had failed to sack Jonathan Ross for his "Sachsgate" prank with Russell Brand. He saw the episode as part of an ongoing "pathology" at the BBC, rather than being an isolated incident.
In December 2019, Moore was a guest editor on the BBC flagship news programme, Today, where he invited fellow Global Warming Policy Foundation affiliates Matt Ridley and Michael Kelly to be interviewed in back-to-back editions of the programme also featuring climate activist Greta Thunberg and climate scientist Kevin Anderson. Moore said the BBC was biased against climate change deniers. Today host, Nick Robinson, said that the corporation's coverage was governed by "Ofcom regulations and the law" and that it reported the "global consensus" on climate science, denying it preached a certain position.
Sir David Clementi, the outgoing chairman of the BBC, warned the government that lining up Moore as his successor would "put off" candidates. Moore was reported to have been the Prime Minister's preferred choice for chairman before the position had been advertised. However, since then, Moore has said he decided against applying for personal reasons, although Moore's demand for a pay rise over the current salary and discomfort over his previous comments were also reported.
Critic of David Cameron
Moore was a critic of David Cameron's Conservative Party modernisation strategy, that he stated embraced "subjects which they had previously ceded to the Left, like health, welfare, the environment and schools", which he believed had supported the interests of government organisations rather than that of the consumer. In particular, Moore has been critical of the National Health Service, which he considers "a terrible organisation".
In December 2009, regarding the Beano character Lord Snooty, the nickname Private Eye uses for Moore, Moore wrote that "he is the ideal role model for David Cameron." In 2011, after the News International phone hacking scandal became public knowledge, he wondered if the Left had been right all along, not only in their objection to Rupert Murdoch's power, but also whether "'the free market' is actually a set-up."
On the English Defence League
In June 2013, Moore said that following the murder of Lee Rigby by Islamic terrorists, the BBC and organisations which monitor attacks against Muslims and anti-Muslim prejudice, such as Tell MAMA, had set a trap "inviting those of us who reject such statements" (i.e. that anti-Muslim prejudice had increased following the attacks) "to defend the [English Defence League]. I do not." He described the EDL as a "reactive organisation" which "does not – officially at least – support violence". Moore also said "If we attack the EDL for being racist, fascist and pro-violence, we can do so with impunity, although we are not being strictly accurate" and that "the only serious violence was against a British soldier". Sadiq Khan said in his response to Moore that "Al-Rahma Islamic Centre had been burnt to the ground, or to the 182 staff and pupils evacuated from the Darul Uloom School in Chiselhurst, traumatised by an arson attack in the middle of the night".
On gay rights
In July 2013, Moore criticised same-sex marriage and wrote: "I wonder if the law will eventually be changed to allow one to marry one's dog." In 2015, Moore complained of a "gay rights sharia" stifling debate on whether gay people should be allowed to be parents through access to in vitro fertilisation.
Moore also opposed the banning of conversion therapy, asking: "Why should they not be entitled to seek escape [from homosexual feelings]?"
On Islam, terrorism and immigration
In the wake of the June 2015 Sousse attacks, in which 38 Westerners were murdered by an Islamist who had apparently been seduced by an associate of Abu Qatada, Moore wrote an essay the thesis of which was that ISIS and its fellow-travellers truly believe only it can defeat the conspiracy that runs the world and that there is no possible common ground. He concluded that "It is not paranoid to say that there is a deadly enemy within [the UK] and not intolerant to want to defeat it."
In January 2017 Moore defended Donald Trump after the President attempted to ban citizens of several Muslim nations entering the US. Moore described the criticisms of Trump as "foaming" and "ridiculous" in an editorial for The Daily Telegraph.
In August 2015, Moore received media attention and criticism after he wrote an article for The Spectator about the 2015 Labour Party leadership election, titled "Have Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall got the looks for a leadership contest?", in which he wrote "there is an understanding that no leader—especially, despite the age of equality, a woman—can look grotesque on television and win a general election" and discussed the looks of the two female candidates in detail. The article was condemned by Liz Kendall, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and Tessa Jowell, candidate for the Labour nomination for Mayor of London and former Minister and MP, along with several journalists and MPs from various parties.
In August 2019 he was criticised for suggesting that Olivia Colman had a "distinctly leftwing face" which cast a doubt in his mind on her ability to play the role of the Queen in the then-upcoming season of The Crown.
In 2015, Moore was made a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, sanctioned by the Charity Commission, described by The Independent as the UK's most prominent climate science denial campaign group. Bob Ward the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science has said that the Global Warming Policy Foundation does not disclose its funding and that Moore or his allies at the Foundation do "not declare their affiliation to the Foundation when promoting climate change denial" and that "Moore's many articles for 'The Daily Telegraph' about climate change do not mention his connection".
In April 2017, he authored an article for The Daily Telegraph which advocated "a bonfire of green regulations" and a return to fossil fuels to improve the British economy after Brexit.
According to Bob Ward, Moore incorrectly claimed in 2018 that the United States had successfully reduced its CO2 emissions globally and their emissions had hit a 25-year low last year. Ward also claimed that Moore incorrectly claimed that Germany and Japan are increasing their carbon footprint because they have "run away from nuclear".
- Charles Moore "Radical, egotistical, romantic, innocent – the real Margaret Thatcher", The Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2013
- Roy Greenslade Press Gang: How Newsmakers Make Profits from Propaganda, London: Macmillan Pan, 2004, p. 134
- Heller, Zoë (31 January 1993). "A Better Class of Person: Charles Moore, editor of the Sunday Telelgraph, is not a man much troubled by doubt. Here is the young fogey grown up: High Church, High Tory, quite steady in his extreme and very marketable views on race, class - and the necessity of 'hypocrisy' in royal reporting". The Independent on Sunday. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- Mark Brown "Lady Thatcher's authorised biography sparks excitement and scepticism", The Guardian, 19 April 2013
- The historical register of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1984. ISBN 0521241278.
- Keith Miller "Charles Moore: profile", The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2011
- "FindArticles.com – CBSi". FindArticles. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2005.
- "Things the BBC didn't tell us about the Brixton riots". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- Vron Ware, Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History (Verso, 2015), p. 5
- Patrick Wright, On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 230.
- Paul Gilroy, 'The Status of Difference', in Ghent Urban Studies Team, Post Ex Sub Dis.: Urban Fragmentations and Constructions (Uitgeverij 010 Publishers, 2002), pp. 199–200
- Moore, Charles (9 May 1992). "Would you rather your house burnt down, or that your daughter married a black man?". The Spectator. p. 8. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
- Siddique, Haroon; Walker, Peter (28 September 2020). "Lenny Henry: next BBC chair should recognise importance of diversity". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
- Gibson, Owen (9 September 2003). "Telegraph editor leads 'Beebwatch' crusade". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- McGarrity, John (1 October 2013). "Britain seen putting off subsea coal gasification projects". Reuters. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
- "CLUFF MINERAL RESOURCES LIMITED - Filing history (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
- Charles Moore "A free country", The Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2001
- Euan Ferguson "Charles Moore, the reluctant revolutionary", The Observer, 8 July 2001
- "The man gunning for Galloway". BBC News. 23 April 2003.
- Janine Gibson "Toodle-pip", The Guardian, 2 October 2003
- Ciar Byrne "Galloway threatens to sue Telegraph", The Guardian, 22 April 2003
- "Galloway wins Saddam libel case", BBC News, 2 December 2004
- "Policy Exchange dispute - update". www.bbc.co.uk. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "Press Release – Times Apology". East London Mosque. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "Exclusive: Policy Exchange forced to apologise; takes report off website | Liberal Conspiracy". Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- Mediapoint, PA (22 December 2009). "Eady: Mosque charitable trust can't sue for libel". Press Gazette. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "Moore: 'In this song Mrs Thatcher is Dorothy'", BBC News, 12 April 2013
- David Rattigan (17 April 2013). "Charles Moore on 'Relatively Less Important' Areas of the UK". David L Rattigan. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- Adam Sherwin "Charles Moore lands first blow in battle to define Margaret Thatcher's legacy and destroy 'myths of the Left'", The Independent, 12 April 2013
- Luke O'Sullivan Charles Moore: In Defence of Dogma Archived 8 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Society of Authors. "2014 Winner – Charles Moore". Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
- Chad Hatfield "Anglican Options: Rome or Orthodoxy?", Anglican Orthodox Pilgrim, 3:1, nd
- Peter Stanford "After 500 years, has the Pope outfoxed the Archbishop?", The Independent on Sunday, 25 October 2009
- Foden, Giles (10 September 1999). "Peterhouse blues". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
- Luke Coppen "'The Church always needs new blood'", Catholic Herald, 18 July 2011 (Archived)
- "Chaplains and Patrons". lms.org.uk. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
- Moore, Charles (25 May 2018). "The monarchy reaches parts politics cannot reach - it should stay that way". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
- O’Toole, Fintan (26 January 2020). "Independence Day will expose Brexit as a ruse to free an imaginary nation". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "Does anyone know how we can entice our house martins back?". The Spectator. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- Moore, Charles (25 September 2020). "The Tories should not be blasé about the threat they face from Starmer". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- James Robinson "Charles Moore fined for Jonathan Ross-inspired TV licence boycott", The Guardian, 11 May 2010
- Charles Moore "The BBC was too scared to sack Jonathan Ross, so the obscenity goes on", The Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2008
- Moore, Charles (28 December 2019). "Today guest edits: Charles Moore". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- Vallely, Paul (3 January 2020). "Paul Vallely: Get ready for delivery — or disaster". Church Times. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
- Wright, Mike (28 December 2019). "BBC 'preaches' on climate change, says Today programme guest editor Charles Moore". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
- "BBC Chairman slams Downing Street over move to replace him with Charles Moore". inews.co.uk. 29 September 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- Urwin, Rosamund; Wheeler, Caroline (4 October 2020). "Charles Moore rules himself out of running for BBC chairman on 'personal' grounds". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
- "BBC critic Charles Moore rules self out top job at the broadcaster for 'family reasons'". inews.co.uk. 4 October 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- Waterson, Jim (4 October 2020). "Charles Moore rules himself out of running to be BBC chairman". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- "Charles Moore pulls out of race for BBC chairman following outrage over his racist, homophobic comments". uk.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- Charles Moore (29 August 2014). "Douglas Carswell can see where politics is going – he's a true moderniser". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Charles Moore (2 March 2012). "Let's just admit it - the NHS is a rotten way of doing things". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Charles Moore "Why Lord Snooty is the Ideal Role Model for David Cameron", The Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2009
- Charles Moore "I'm starting to think that the Left might actually be right", The Daily Telegraph, 22 July 2011
- "Woolwich outrage: we are too weak to face up to the extremism in our midst". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "Why Charles Moore is wrong about British Muslims". The Daily Telegraph. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
- "Ex-Telegraph editor Charles Moore: Will equal marriage lead to people marrying dogs?". PinkNews. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- Moore, Charles (6 July 2013). "Why not marry a dog?". The Spectator.
- "In the headlong rush for 'rights', children are an afterthought". The Daily Telegraph. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
- Moore, Charles (9 July 2018). "If a gay person wishes to suppress their sexual feelings, what business is it of the law's?". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
- Moore, Charles (3 July 2015). "Islamists only want one thing. We cannot appease them". The Daily Telegraph.
- Moore, Charles. "Nothing has changed in 25 years to ease my concerns about Islam". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
- Sabbagh, Dan (27 September 2020). "No 10 told Charles Moore appointment could put BBC's independence at risk". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- "The foaming attacks on Donald Trump are more ridiculous than anything he has done". The Daily Telegraph. 29 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Spectator magazine under fire for article on Liz Kendall's and Yvette Cooper's looks". ITV News. 23 August 2015.
- "Charles Moore's Spectator Article On Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall Is All Kinds Of Sexist". Huff Post News. Verizon Media. 23 August 2015.
- Busby, Mattha (24 August 2019). "Telegraph columnist derided for saying Olivia Colman has 'leftwing face'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
- Ward, Bob (30 September 2014). "Climate change 'sceptics' breached charity rules". British Politics and Policy at LSE. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
- Ian Johnston, "Nigel Lawson's climate-change denial charity 'intimidated' environmental expert", The Independent, 11 May 2014
- "Charles Moore praises Trump using misinformation about energy". Grantham Research Institute on climate change and the environment. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- Moore, Charles (28 April 2017). "Brexit Britain can't thrive without cheap energy. We need a bonfire of green regulations". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group.
- Ward, Bob (3 June 2018). "Charles Moore praises Trump using misinformation about energy". Grantham Research Institute on climate change and the environment. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
- Howard, John (January–February 2016). "Seized with outcomes". Quadrant. 60 (1–2): 73–75. Review of Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography, Volume Two: Everything She Wants.