Iain Dale – The Matrix Database

Iain Dale and close friend David Davis for whom he ran a leadership campaign. Davis also attended Dale’s wedding in 2015.

The Matrix Project is an effort to document personal factors that undermine powerful journalists’ claims of objectivity and impartiality. Are factors such as an elite education, establishment connections, personal wealth and interests in rival fields compatible with journalistic integrity? 

This page looks at journalist, author and LBC broadcaster Iain Dale. For more information on the database click here.


Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here

Iain Dale was educated at state schools and graduated from the University of East Anglia (source)

Revolving Door

Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here

Iain Dale has significant experience in both politics and corporate affairs.

Politics: Conservative Party Activities

Iain Dale worked as a researcher for Conservative MP Patrick Thompson from 1985-1987. (Source)

Between 2005 and 2011 Iain Dale either stood or was a nominee as a candidate for the Conservative Party in various elections. (Source)

Dale also served as chief of staff for David Davis’ unsuccessful campaign for the Conservative party leadership in 2005. (Source)

Corporate Activities

Dale has been managing director of two publishing companies specialising in political non-fiction, Biteback Publishing and the Politico publishing corporation. He also founded the Total Politics magazine. (source)

He has described himself on his own website as a “political lobbyist” on behalf of The British Ports Federation (source)

Dale founded and ran a “transport based public affairs consultancy” firm called The Waterfront Partnership. (source)

“Establishment” Connections

Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here


Iain Dale is married to John Simmons, a publisher in his own right who co-founded Biteback Publishing with Dale. (source)


Dale remains close to David Davis who attended his wedding in 2015. (source)

A co-founder of the Waterfront Partnership was Peter Cropper, a former head of the Conservative Research Department and special advisor in the Thatcher government. (source)

Dale is described as “good friends” with former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. (source)

In this article defending his friend Derek Conway, a former Conservative MP who stood down after accusations of gross misuse of public funds, Dale also highlights his loyalty to other political friends that include Neil and Christine Hamilton and Edwina Currie. (source)

[This list is just an example of the undoubtedly extensive network of political friendships an operator such as Dale has.]

Salary/Indications of Wealth

Learn about the significance of journalists with an unusual level of wealth here

Iain Dale has never disclosed his earnings. He is a broadcaster, journalist, editor, publisher, author and blogger so is likely to earn substantially more than the average UK salary. As an example, Iain Dale Ltd, run by Dale and his husband John Simmons, reported current assets of £423,366 for 2020. (source).

As a point of reference, the Office for National Statistics list the average UK salary for 2021 as £26,193

Complaints / apologies / controversies

Learn about the significance of complaints/apologies here

Iain Dale was cautioned by police in 2013 for assaulting a pensioner who was attempting to disrupt an interview with Biteback author Damian McBride as part of an anti-nuclear protest. (source)


As well as being a journalist and broadcaster, Iain Dale has extensive experience in politics, publishing, corporate lobbying and particularly close connections with the Conservative Party. He is married to a successful publisher and has an extensive network of friends in the political sphere. He is likely to earn significantly more than the UK national salary.

Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?

Learn more about the Matrix Project here.

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