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Friday, December 18, 1998 Published at 15:19 GMT


Curriculum Vitae: Dominic Lawson

[ image:  ]
Dominic Ralph Campden Lawson
Editor, Sunday Telegraph

Also known as:
A high flyer and could be known in future as Agent Lawson.

Career path:
One of the youngest editors on Fleet Street, he was born into a family steeped in politics and journalism. Followed in his father, Lord Lawson's footsteps, becoming editor of the Spectator in 1990. The magazine made him his name - he gave it a profile it had never before achieved.

After hours interests:
Labour MP, Brian Sedgemore, has used parliamentary privlege to name Mr Lawson as an MI6 agent. "I would hope we could have some time... to look at the claim that Dominic Lawson... has been recruited as a paid MI6 agent. It would be very damaging for the press if it were true," he said. The allegations centre on the time Mr Lawson was the editor of the Spectator between 1990 and 1995.

Political aspirations:
None. Lawson is unlikely to follow his father into politics. He told the Observer in January 1995: "If you're editor of the Spectator you have much more political influence than an MP."

Career-making story:
In his first summer as editor of the Spectator he published a taped interview with the then Trade Secretary Nicholas Ridley speaking out against Germany. Mr Ridley, who lost his job over the ensuing international publicity, appeared to believe that he had spoken off the record. Lawson later said of the off-the-record journalistic by-law: "I think it's hugely important. Without it you don't know where you are."

Doesn't reveal his sources:
Also as the Spectator editor, the magazine ran a scoop that Richard Gott, literary editor of The Guardian was being paid by the KGB. The Spectator maintained that its information had "come from former members of the KGB, not serving members of our own security services".

Runs a tight ship:
Holds meetings with his reporters on Tuesdays at 11.15am sharp, demanding story ideas in headmasterly fashion.

Good connections:
After achieving fame with his Nicholas Ridley interview, he leapt up the social ladder. He met and married Rosa Monckton from one of Britian's most prominent Roman Catholic families (and London Tiffany's boss) with a papal blessing. The late Diana Princess of Wales was a godmother to his second daughter.

Family traits:
It is not just the looks and career that seem to be hereditary. Lawsons have a tendency to pass on masculine names to their female children. Nigel Lawson has a daughter Nigella (also a journalist) and Dominic's second daughter is named Domenica. His other two sisters are named Thomasina and Horatia. Thomasina died of breast cancer aged 32.

Holds strong beliefs:
Has written passionately on the issue of abortion and his daughter Domenica's right to life after she was born with Down's Syndrome. Believes that family maketh the man saying: "Once one has one's own family then one is a man in one's own right."

Depends who you talk to. Friends say he is funny and warm with an endearing vulnerability, others are said to remain wary and mistrustful of him.

Very competitive:
Sister Nigella says this tendency started very young. He once refused to speak to her for two days after she beat him at Monopoly.

Plays hard:
A keen chess and cricket fan, he has been known to take his pastimes a little too seriously. A row with Peter Oborne, a fellow player in a journalist's XI, ended in a head-butting incident.

Availability for work:
With the paper done and dusted, he is free Sundays and Mondays.

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