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2 November 2016
Jackie Ashley has stalked the corridors of power in Westminster for over 30 years, working as a prominent political journalist and broadcaster, sitting on influential commissions and chairing conferences. Jackie became the president of Lucy Cavendish College in 2015.
Her career started in 1979, as a BBC trainee. A rich and varied working life has followed, including roles such as Producer and Newsreader on Newsnight, Political Correspondent with ITN, Channel 4 politics producer, Presenter of several political programmes on BBC2 and ITV and Political Editor at the New Statesman.
In her most recent role – as a Columnist and Political Interviewer at The Guardian – Jackie has covered Labour, Conservative and Coalition politics, women’s rights, the media and public services, with a particular focus on health. She has also closely followed the weekly political argument as the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster.
A graduate of St Anne’s College, Oxford, Jackie is acutely aware of how education transforms real lives. Her own father, Jack Ashley, Baron Ashley of Stoke, left school at 14 and worked as a labourer, but won a scholarship to Ruskin College Oxford, followed by Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. Ultimately this opportunity enabled him to pursue his political ambitions as a Labour MP and campaigner, despite completely losing his hearing.
Growing up in a home centred around politics made a lasting impression on Jackie. As well as forging a career in the field, she too has been a passionate campaigner on issues such as equal pay, support for carers, the elderly and the NHS.
Catch up or listen again to this conversation between Professor Dame Athene Donald and Jackie Ashley.