Skip to main content

The Papers of John Newbigin

Reference Code: GBR/0014/NEWB

Scope and Contents

Speech drafts written for Neil Kinnock, as Leader of the Labour Party, with notes on speech writing strategy, and also papers on Labour's Black Sections policy and ethnic minority representation in the Party.


  • Creation: 1978 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

John Newbigin was born in Liverpool on 13 October 1947, son of the Rt Rev. James Edward Lesslie Newbigin and Helen Stewart Newbigin (née Henderson). He was educated at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge (BA Hons 1970), and in 1978 married Juliet Grimshaw (marriage dissolved, 1994), having two daughters.

Newbigin began his career as a Youth worker with the Inner London Education Authority, 1972-73, before a spell as writer in residence with the Common Stock Theatre, 1973-74. He then returned to community work, first with Avenues Unlimited, 1975-81, then as Manager of the Brixton Young Families Housing Aid Association, 1981-84, and managed to combine work with the community with his interest in the arts as Director of the London Youth Festival, 1984-85.

Newbigin then made the move into politics as a Policy Adviser to Neil Kinnock, Leader of the Opposition, between 1986 and Kinnock's departure from the Labour Party leadership following the 1992 election. With Kinnock gone, Newbigin returned to the field of arts policy, first as Assistant to the Chairman of Enigma Productions, 1992-97, then as Special Adviser at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 1997-2000, before becoming Head of Corporate Relations at Channel 4 Television, 2000-05. Since then he has worked as a cultural entrepreneur and consultant, and was awarded an OBE in 2015.


2 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were deposited at the Archives Centre in February 2018 by John Newbigin.

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre also holds the papers of Neil Kinnock (GBR/0014/KNNK) and Christopher Child (GBR/0014/CHLD).


This collection level (fonds) description and catalogue was prepared by Katharine Thomson in February 2018. Biographical information was obtained from "Who's Who 2018" (A and C Black).


Newbigin, John Lesslie, b 1947, arts consultant and former policy adviser to Neil Kinnock

2018-02-12 12:17:52.367000+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087