Lord Adonis studied history at Keble College, Oxford, followed by a PhD in modern history and a fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, when he was also elected to Oxford City Council (from 1987 to 1991).
Andrew then became a journalist at the Financial Times for five years (1991-96) before moving to the Observer as a political columnist. He joined Tony Blair’s Number 10 policy staff in 1998, first as education adviser then, after 2001, as Head of the Policy Unit.
Andrew was Minister for Schools from May 2005 until October 2008, Minister of State for Transport from October 2008 until June 2009, and Secretary of State for Transport from June 2009 until May 2010. He was one of Labour’s negotiating team with the Liberal Democrats in the post-election hung parliament negotiations.
Andrew takes a great interest in developing young leaders in public service professions. He serves as a trustee of TeachFirst, which places bright young graduates in challenging schools. Its equivalent for social work, Frontline, was established in 2012, and Andrew has been heavily involved with it since its inception, chairing its trustee board. He is also on the board of Police Now, which aims to recruit a new generation of young leaders to the Metropolitan Police.
Should we fear democracy?
"Five debates a day sounds a bit daunting beforehand, but I really loved it. The speakers are so knowledgeable and passionate about their chosen topic, and the amount of time dedicated to questions from the audience was great as it really brought in alternative views."
Exeter University student