Trevor Kavanagh

Trevor Michael Thomas Kavanagh (born 19 January 1943) is an English journalist and former political editor of The Sun.

Trevor Kavanagh
Born (1943-01-19) January 19, 1943 (age 78)
Alma materReigate Grammar School
Years active1965–present
EmployerThe Sun

Early life and career

Kavanagh was educated at Reigate Grammar School before leaving school at 17 to work for newspapers in Surrey and later Hereford.

In 1965, he emigrated to Australia, working on several newspapers. After a short stint back in the United Kingdom working for the Bristol Evening Post, Kavanagh returned to Australia to work for the Sydney Daily Mirror (in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. stable) on the political desk.


In 1978, he returned to the UK permanently, taking a job on the news desk of The Sun, and then as an industrial correspondent in 1980. He was appointed as the paper's political editor in 1983.[1]

In January 2004, Kavanagh claimed a huge scoop. An unnamed source telephoned Kavanagh with details of the Hutton Inquiry the night before it was officially published. Kavanagh was provided with accurate details of the report and published them ahead of the official release.[2] He was however less accurate on 4 June 2009. Speaking on BBC 5Live he asserted that Gordon Brown would be out of office the next week. Shortly afterwards, he was named as the eighth most influential person in the British media – behind his proprietor Murdoch, but ahead of his editor, Rebekah Wade.[citation needed]

He covered his last UK General Election as political editor in May 2005. In December 2005, it was announced that he was to become an associate editor of The Sun in January.[3] His successor as political editor was deputy, George Pascoe-Watson.[citation needed]

Kavanagh joined the board of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in December 2015.[4] In February 2017, the IPSO found that a column by Kavanagh published in The Sun about allegedly false refugee claims was factually inaccurate. The adjudication by IPSO described Kavanagh's inaccuracies as creating "a significantly misleading impression."[5]

In August 2017, The Sun published a column by Kavanagh which questioned what actions British society should take to deal with "The Muslim Problem". Kavanagh cited an opinion piece by Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities Sarah Champion MP several days previously as a reason that it was "now acceptable" to describe Muslims as a "specific rather than cultural problem".[6] Sean O'Grady of The Independent stated that the column used language reminiscent of Nazi propaganda and Nazi phrases.[7] A joint complaint was made to IPSO by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Tell MAMA and Faith Matters. A statement by the groups said "The printing of the phrase 'The Muslim Problem' – particularly with the capitalisation and italics for emphasis – in a national newspaper sets a dangerous precedent, and harks back to the use of the phrase 'The Jewish Problem in the last century."[8] A cross-party group of over 100 MPs from the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens subsequently signed a letter to the editor of The Sun demanding action over the column. The letter stated the MPs "were truly outraged by the hate and bigotry" in Kavanagh's column.[6]

Kavanagh left the board of IPSO at the end of December 2017, two years into a three-year contract.[9]

Personal life

Kavanagh is married and currently lives in London. He has two sons and three grandchildren.



  • "The new politics of decline". The Spectator. 311 (9446): 14–15. 12 September 2009. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2011.


  1. Leapman, Michael (9 April 2001). "The New Statesman Profile - Trevor Kavanagh". New Statesman. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  2. Robinson, James (1 February 2004). "Clever Trevor rules roost". The Observer. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  3. Snoddy, Raymond (12 December 2005). "Trevor Kavanagh: Leader in the House". The Independent. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. Turvill, William (23 December 2015). "Sun's Trevor Kavanagh appointed to board of IPSO". Press Gazette. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. Ponsford, Dominic (24 February 2017). "IPSO board rebuke for Sun's Trevor Kavanagh as complaint against him is upheld". Press Gazette.
  6. Cowburn, Ashley (15 August 2017). "More than 100 MPs demand action over Sun's 'Muslim Problem' article". The Independent. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  7. O'Grady, Sean (15 August 2017). "The Sun can't pretend saying we have a 'Muslim Problem' isn't reminiscent of Nazi propaganda". The Independent. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  8. Ponsford, Dominic (15 August 2017). "Campaigner unable to complain over Sun 'Muslim problem' piece because religious groups not covered by Editors' Code". Press Gazette. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  9. Mayhew, Freddy (12 January 2018). "Sun columnist Trevor Kavanagh steps down from board of press regulator IPSO". Press Gazette. Retrieved 12 January 2018.