John Pienaar

John Pienaar is announced as this year’s speaker.

John Pienaar has been the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor for over 30 years, and presenter of the weekly Westminster round-up 'Pienaar’s Politics' on Radio 5Live. John recently annouced he will join the soon-to-be-launched Times Radio as Drive Time presenter. A seasoned reporter, he sees his job as “beating a path through the forest of Government spin”.

Ever since his original, often controversial parliamentary sketch for the Independent, he has acted as tour guide and translator of goings-on in the Westminster village.

John originally trained at South London Press, covering whatever was occurring on his doorstep – be it street crime, domestic violence, sex, drugs or rock’n’roll. He then became an Old Bailey Correspondent and even wrote an angling column (without ever having held a fishing rod).

Instantly recognisable to television news audiences, John has spent hundreds of hours standing in the rain outside 10 Downing Street. He was also invited to take part in a celebrity boxing show, only for it to be cancelled for fear that someone might get hurt.

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