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Peter Preston (born 23 May 1938 in Leicestershiremarker) is a Britishmarker journalist and author. He was educated at Loughborough Grammar Schoolmarker and St John's College, Oxfordmarker, where he edited the student paper Cherwell. He has received honorary degrees from the City University, Londonmarker and the University of Leicestermarker (2003).

He joined The Guardian in 1963 and was editor for twenty years, from 1975 to 1995. He continues as a prolific columnist addressing a wide range of political and social issues, also contributing a weekly column devoted mainly to news about newspapers, their readers and (generally) diminishing circulations in The Observer's "business and media" section. He was a member of the Scott Trust from 1979 to 2003, Chairman of the International Press Institute from 1995 to 1997, and Chairman of the Association of British Press Editors.

He is perhaps best known for the investigative reporting into Conservative MP, including the perjurious Jonathan Aitken and brown-envelope-receiving Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith, begun while he was editor of The Guardian. These were the revelations ("cash for questions" and corruption in parliament) that contributed to the downfall of the Conservative government in 1997. In both instances, a key source was Harrod'smarker and Paris Ritz owner Mohammed Al-Fayed, who had his own reasons to resent British government ministers.

Preston's son, Ben Preston, is a former deputy editor of The Times.[77158]

Bibliography

  • Bess (Viking, 1999) ISBN 0-670-88765-X
  • 51st State (Viking, 1998) ISBN 0-670-88107-4


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