Vernon Bogdanor

Vernon Bernard Bogdanor

(1943-07-16) 16 July 1943 (age 80)
Staines, Middlesex, England
Alma materThe Queen's College, Oxford
Judith Evelyn Beckett
(m. 1972; div. 2000)
Sonia Margaret Robertson
(m. 2009)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
King's College London
Gresham College
New College of the Humanities
Notable studentsDavid Cameron

Sir Vernon Bernard Bogdanor CBE FBA FRSA (/ˈbɒɡdənɔːr/; born 16 July 1943[1]) is a British political scientist, historian, and research professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History at King's College London. He is also emeritus professor of politics and government at the University of Oxford and an emeritus fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford.

He is one of Britain's foremost constitutional experts and has written extensively on political and constitutional issues. He supports the British monarchy[2] and the adoption of proportional representation.

Early life and education

Bogdanor was born in Staines to Harry and Rosa Bogdanor (née Weinger), and grew up in Uxbridge.[3][4] His father was a pharmacist whose parents came to the UK from Ukraine, while his mother was born in Poland and came to the UK in the 1930s. Both parents were observant Jews.[4] Educated at Bishopshalt School, Vernon Bogdanor gained a first-class honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from The Queen's College, Oxford, in 1964.[citation needed]


Bogdanor speaking on his book The New British Constitution in Oxford, 2009
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From 1966, Bogdanor was Fellow in Politics, Senior Tutor (1979–85 and 1996–97), Vice-Principal, and (in 2002–03) Acting Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies.[3]

He has been a member of Council of the Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government, Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities, Member of the Court of Essex University, adviser (as a member of the Council of Europe and American Bar Association delegations) to the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel and Slovakia on constitutional and electoral reform, member of the Academic Panel of Local Authority Associations, member of the Hansard Society Commission on the Legislative Process, member of the UK Government delegation on Democratic Institutions in Central and Eastern Europe and Conference on the Protection of Minorities, Consultant to Independent Television News (ITN) on the General Election, member of the Economic and Social Research Council's committee administering the 'Whitehall' programme, special adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Public Services, member of the Swedish Constitutional Reform Project, member of the Advisory Group to the High Commissioner on National Minorities, adviser to the President of Trinidad on the Constitution of Trinidad, and member of the Economic and Social Research Council's committee administering the devolution programme.[citation needed]

Bogdanor is a frequent contributor to television, radio and newspapers. Between 2004 and 2008 he gave public lectures as Professor of Law at Gresham College, London. He continues to give public lectures at the college, now as Visiting professor of Political History. He has published numerous books and articles. In 2003, he edited The British Constitution in the 20th Century (published by Oxford University Press to mark the centenary of the British Academy) and authored The New British Constitution (2009), which analyses constitutional changes under the Labour government since 1997.

Bogdanor is a signatory of the statement of principles of the Henry Jackson Society.[5]


Bogdanor's most famous former student is David Cameron, who became Conservative Party leader and served as prime minister from 2010 to 2016. Bogdanor described Cameron as "one of the ablest" students he has taught, whose political views were "moderate and sensible Conservative".[6] He has, however, expressed reservations about some of Cameron's policies, including his proposal for a British "Bill of Rights", about which Bogdanor said, "I believe it's ill thought-out and confused.... He [Cameron] may have forgotten some of the things I've taught him. I'd be happy to give him a few more tutorials on civil liberties."[7]

Bogdanor referred to the arrest, search and questioning of the Conservative MP Damian Green, for aiding and abetting misconduct in public office by police from Special Branch, as "a storm in a teacup". "The important principle is that MPs - apart from when they're speaking in the chamber and dealing with constituents' correspondence - are subject to the same laws as the rest of us."[8]

In 2017, Bogdanor supported a second referendum for Brexit on the contents of a final deal, saying that "Brexiters can hardly deny to their opponents the same democratic right that they claim for themselves, unless they secretly fear that the British public has, in fact, had second thoughts".[9] However, by 2019, he had reversed his position, writing that "it has now become clear that a further referendum is not only impractical but could prove dangerous to the cohesion of the country" because it "would give rise to a dangerous narrative of betrayal amongst Leave voters which would be harmful to the democratic spirit".[10]

In a 2021 column for The Daily Telegraph, Bogdanor decried European Commission member Maroš Šefčovič's remark that the EU's patience with the UK was "wearing very, very thin" with regard to British implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol; Bogdanor said the comment was "reminiscent of that of the dictators of the 1930s."[11]

Awards and honours

Bogdanor was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1998 Birthday Honours for services to constitutional history.[12] In 2009, he was appointed a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur by the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, for his work on the law and history of Britain and France; the honour was presented to Bogdanor by the French ambassador to the United Kingdom, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne.[13]

He was knighted in the 2023 New Year Honours for services to political science.[14]

Personal life

This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately.Find sources: "Vernon Bogdanor" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (December 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Bogdanor married Judith Evelyn Beckett in 1972; the marriage was dissolved in 2000. In August 2009 he married Sonia Margaret Robertson.






Notable former students

In addition to David Cameron, Bogdanor's former students include Kate Allen, Camilla Cavendish, Diane Coyle, Guy Spier as well as Toby Young.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  2. ^ Bogdanor, Vernon (6 December 2000). "The Guardian has got it wrong". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Federalism and the future of Europe" Conference Report (Basel, 2001), p.48
  4. ^ a b Edmonds, David (19 November 2019). "Jewniversity: Vernon Bogdanor". The Jewish Chronicle. London.
  5. ^ "Signatories to the Statement of Principles", Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  6. ^ "The David Cameron story". BBC News. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  7. ^ Woodward, Will; Travis, Alan (27 June 2006). "Cameron's call to repeal legislation would not end deportation battles, say ministers". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Row over Green 'grooming' claims". BBC News. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  9. ^ Bogdanor, Vernon (3 August 2017). "Why Britain's voters must have a second referendum on Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  10. ^ Bogdanor, Vernon (10 October 2019). "A second referendum is an affront to democracy. Remainers can only stop Brexit by winning an election". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  11. ^ Bogdanor, Vernon (13 June 2021). "We cannot stand for the EU's attempt to partition the UK". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  12. ^ "No. 55155". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 1998. p. 8.
  13. ^ "Appointments". Times Higher Education. 5 November 2009.
  14. ^ "No. 63918". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2022. p. N2.