Andrew Marr: Is the former BBC presenter right or left wing?


The political viewpoint of veteran broadcaster Andrew Marr has largely been hidden away from the public, but since resigning from the BBC in November last year, Mr Marr now has the freedom to “speak [his] mind”. The BBC is committed to achieving due impartiality in all of its output – and its journalists must maintain this.

Glasgow-born and Cambridge-educated Andrew Marr, 62, started his career at The Scotsman as a trainee reporter before moving onto the Independent in 1986.

He soon left for the Economist, assuming the role of political editor in 1989, which soon led him back to the Independent as a political correspondent again – politics was to remain a constant in the years since.

Speaking on his early career trajectory, Mr Marr told Press Gazette: “I rose in journalism as a reporter and commentator in the fiercely competitive commercial world, where you could say anything you liked.

“You had to then live with consequences. But in a way it was a high-wire act and an exciting thing to do.

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“And, in my 60s, I want to go back to where I was in my 20s. I want the notebook in my back pocket. And I want to be hurtling along the street. Listening to people’s conversations. Going and talking to people who are interesting and surprising and all of that.”

And that’s just what Mr Marr has done, as he resigned from his post at the BBC after 21 years to embark on several new ventures, including joining rival broadcasting giant, Global, as a host of programmes on both LBC and Classic FM, as well as becoming the chief political commentator for the New Statesman.

Mr Marr acted as political editor for five years, and then went on to present the Andrew Marr show on BBC One, all of which made the journalist a household name. However, after “years of watching [his] p’s and q’s”, Mr Marr left the BBC to “speak more forthrightly”, he revealed.

So, where does the veteran broadcaster stand politically?

Andrew Marr’s political views

Mr Marr’s political views have long been up for dispute, as some members of the public have described him a “tory mouthpiece”. However, this appears to be a slight step away from the truth.

Reported to be a former Maoist and member of the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory – a left-wing pressure organisation created by Labour Party members – Mr Marr described his younger self as a “raving leftie” who passed around copies of Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book at Cambridge, earning him the nickname “Red Andy”.

The New Statesman, the publication that Mr Marr has recently joined, is described to be a publication “of the left, for the left” but also a “political and literary magazine with sceptical politics” by magazine editor Jason Cowley.

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However, when answering the Press Gazette, the sister magazine for the New Statesman, on how left-wing he is now, Mr Marr said: “Not very, I describe myself as a fairly centrist social democrat, probably.”

We’ll be hearing much more of Mr Marr’s political views in these new ventures, as he stated: “I have been looking for partners who won’t be leaning on my shoulder as I write – and it seems I have found them.”

On joining Global, Mr Marr said: “Coming to Global gives me a new freedom to do fast-paced very regular political journalism on LBC with no filter entirely in my own voice.”

Mr Marr’s first show on LBC is to be aired on Monday March 7.



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