Paul Goodman

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Person.png Paul Goodman  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
London, England
Alma materUniversity of York
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SpouseFiona Mary Ann Gill

Paul Goodman succeeded Ray Whitney as MP for Wycombe in 2001.[1]

Northern Ireland Unionist connection

In 1995 Goodman was linked to a group of right-wing unionists (Friends of the Union) responsible for the leaking of a draft Framework Document in the early stages of the Irish peace process. Adrian Lithgow wrote in a 1995 article for the Mail on Sunday:

Last night it was becoming clear that a caucus of fervent Loyalists under the umbrella of a Unionist study group is closely associated with the leaker. It is made up of PR man David Burnside, D'Ancona himself; Dean Godson, a Daily Telegraph staff reporter; Paul Goodman, Northern Ireland correspondent on the Sunday Telegraph; Noel Malcolm, a historian and Daily Telegraph political columnist; Andrew McHallam, executive director of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies; Charles Moore, editor of the Sunday Telegraph; Simon Pearce, a Conservative election candidate; company director Justin Shaw and historian Andrew Roberts. One of the group said last night: 'We didn't want the position when the framework document was published of being out in the cold as we were over the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985. There was a coming together of minds over what should be done.'[2]


After the 2001 general election, Michael Gove identified Goodman as a potential star of the new intake of Tory MPs, along with David Cameron and George Osborne.[3]

Shadow communities Minister

Attacking Labour on Preventing violent Extremism'

In October 2009, Goodman criticised what he termed "a major shift in Labour’s policy towards violent extremism and extremism":

People who support attacks on our troops or on civilians aren’t always in breach of the law. Questions therefore arise. Will Ministers now sit down with the Luton extremists who brandished banners describing our troops as “murderers”, “terrorists” and “butchers of Basra?” Or with the Muslim Brotherhood? Or - if not breaking the law is the measure - with the BNP? I ask because this is the logic of Denham’s own words.[4]

Muslim Schools Row

In November 2009, Conservative Leader David Cameron claimed incorrectly that the Government was funding two Muslims schools linked to Hizb ut Tahrir through the Preventing Violent Extremism programme. According to the Times, Michael Gove was blamed for the error:

As the mistake came to light in the course of Wednesday afternoon Paul Goodman, the Shadow Communities Minister, was scrambled to field the flak. Mr Goodman, an expert on Hizb ut Tahrir and a former journalist, did his best to rescue the thrust of the attack on Newsnight on BBC Two.[5]

One report described Goodman's interview with Paxman as an "explosive confrontation".[6] The initial portion of the discussion went as follows:

Jeremy Paxman: Paul Goodman, why did your party claim that one of these schools wasn't registered when it was?
Paul Goodman: Well, I'm not sure that you're right about that, because the registration concerned was not on the main education department website.
JP: What you mean is you couldn't find it.
PG: No, it was not on the main website. The website your reporter was referring to a few moments ago, was a different website. Now, I think we ought to get off these trivialities and asides, and go to the main fact, which is this that a charity - if I could just finish -
JP: The convention is, I'll ask you some questions.
PG: a charity controlled by an extremist organisation has been funded by Mr Balls' department, and I think you should ask him about that.
JP: I shall do in a second or two but lets go on with a few of your other inaccuracies first, shall we? Why did you claim the schools hadn't been expected when they had been?
PG: As I just said a moment ago, our main claim has been triumphantly vindicated today which is that a charity controlled by an extremist organisation, that supports attacks on our troops in Afghanistan, has been funded by Ed Balls' department.
JP: Why did Mr Cameron claim that these schools had received money from the Preventing Violent Extremism Fund when they had not?
PG: David said they had received money from a Pathfinder which was absolutely accurate, and yet again, I'm afraid that Ed Balls is throwing up chaff here, which is reflected by your programme. The main point here, which is an incredibly serious one..
JP:He hasn't even spoken yet. I've asked you some questions, which you've failed to answer.
PG: He's putting out a lot of spin today which I think is reflected by your line of questioning. As I say, the main question really is this. A charity controlled by an extremist organisation, that supports attacks on our troops in Afghanistan, and your programme mentioned Afghanistan, has been funded by his department and I think you should ask him why that's happened.
JP: Perhaps if you could calm down a little bit, you could answer a straight question, but you're obviously not going to do so.
PG: I've answered both your questions, so far, the first was inaccurate.
JP: You have not.[7]




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  1. Wycombe, Aristotle - politics, accessed 4 March 2008.
  2. Mail on Sunday (London)February 5, 1995, Top-level conspirator who'll never be found HISTORIAN: Roberts DIRECTOR: McHallam CONSERVATIVE: Pearce; HOW ULSTER LEAK PLOTTERS BEAT SECURITY TO PROTECT SECRET SOURCE OF LEAK, BYLINE: Adrian Lithgow, SECTION: Pg. 6
  3. Michael Gove, Fermenting talents promise a better Tory vintage, The Times, 1 September 2001.
  4. Paul Goodman, Are Labour ministers about to dialogue with domestic extremists?, 2 October 2009.
  5. Francis Elliott, Schools supremo Michael Gove learns painful lesson about getting the facts right, The Times, 27 November 2009.
  6. MP told to "calm down" in Paxman clash, This is Local London, 26 November 2009.
  7. BBC Newsnight, 25 November 2009.