Matthew Parris is one of the UK's most highly respected journalists, and became best known as the Parliamentary sketch writer for The Times, a position he held for 14 years until 2002. He has been named Columnist of the Year at the British Press Awards on more than one occasion. He continues to write on politics with insight, authority and acerbic wit for The Times, Telegraph, and The Spectator.
Born in Johannesburg, Matthew was educated at Cambridge before going on to study International Relations at Yale. Returning to the UK, and after turning down a job at MI6, two years at the Foreign Office were followed by a spell at the Conservative Research Department. He then served as a member of staff in Margaret Thatcher's office until the 1979 General Election, when he was elected MP for West Derbyshire. Matthew gave up his seat in 1986 and went on to host LWT's political interview programme Weekend World, a political interview programme.
Since then Matthew's Times column has become required reading around Westminster combining a rebellious streak with thoughtful, informed opinion. Never afraid to be outspoken he tackles the hypocrisy, delusions and motives of the Parliamentary elite.
Matthew Parris is a frequent contributor to many other publications including The Spectator and has been named ‘Columnist of the Year' at the British Press Awards on numerous occasions. He is also a frequent television and radio broadcaster.
Aside from politics, Matthew's other great love is travel and over the years he has led expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro, Peru and Bolivia as well as to Zaire and the Sahara. A keen runner, he has also competed several times in the London Marathon, achieving a personal best of 2 hours 32 minutes, a time still unbeaten by any other sitting or retired MP.
His first book, Inca-Kola recounts his travels in Peru. Matthew has published several compilations of his pieces in The Times and has also edited Scorn, a book of quotations about curses, jibes and general invective. Other literary credits include Great Parliamentary Scandals, Five Centuries of Calumny, Smear and Innuendo and Off Message: New Labour, New Sketches.