Richard Norton-Taylor

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Person.png Richard Norton-Taylor   TwitterRdf-icon.png
(journalist, editor, playwright)
Richard Norton-Taylor 1.png
BornRichard Seymour Norton-Taylor
Alma materUniversity of Oxford/Hertford College
SpouseAnna C. Rendle
Writer for The Guardian on defence and security matters

Richard Norton-Taylor (born 6 June 1944) is a British editor, journalist and playwright who writes for The Guardian on defence and security matters, and was the newspaper's security editor.

In July 2017, Norton-Taylor declared:

"I am a supporter of Stop the War Coalition because over the past several decades military intervention by the West and by others has been counterproductive, causing more death and destruction. As we are now seeing, this was the case in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would be much more effective to get to the root causes of the problem behind the spread of terrorism and other security threats."

Early life and education

He was born Richard Seymour Norton-Taylor to Lt. Seymour Norton-Taylor, R.A. and Gweneth Joan Powell (died 9 January 1978).

Norton-Taylor was educated at King's School in Canterbury, Kent, and at Hertford College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford.


He was European Community and Brussels, Belgium, correspondent for both The Washington Post and Newsweek between 1967 and 1975, while also contributing to The Economist and the Financial Times.

Norton-Taylor joined The Guardian in 1975, concentrating on Whitehall official secrecy and behind-the-scenes decision-making.

He has written several plays based on transcripts of public inquiries including The Colour of Justice (1999) based on the hearing of the Stephen Lawrence public inquiries into the police investigation (MacPherson Inquiry) into the police conduct of the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and Justifying War: Scenes from the Hutton Inquiry (2003).

Norton-Taylor is a Member of Council of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

He is a trustee of the Civil Liberties Trust and the London Action Trust.


Norton-Taylor won the 1986 Freedom of Information Campaign award, and the same year was prevented by a court injunction from reporting the contents of Spycatcher (1987), the memoirs of the former MI5 agent, Peter Wright. The government's injunction was dismissed in the High Court by Lord Justice Scott.

He was one of the few journalists to cover the Scott Inquiry from start to finish. His play, Half the Picture, based on the inquiry, received a 1994 Time Out Drama, Comedy and Dance award for its "brave initiative".

Personal life

In 1967, he married Anna C. Rendle, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Rendle, of Kemerton, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.[1]

4 June 1944| 

Documents by Richard Norton-Taylor

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)
Document:MI5 and the Christmas Tree Filesbook extract1988MI5
BBC/Deep state control
Document:Re-living the war in an Irish Towninterview17 April 2005Bloody Sunday


Related Quotation

Document:Is Martin McGuinness a British Agent?“Indeed, in 1991 journalist Richard Norton-Taylor revealed the existence of a list of something like 500 prominent Britons, including around 90 in the media, who were in the employ of the CIA, and paid through the old friend of the intelligence services, the BCCI.”5 May 2004


  1. The Times. 16 June 1967!xrn_31_0_CS201944272&hst_1?sw_aep=kccl. Retrieved 27 June 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").

External links

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