Stewart Lansley

Stewart Lansley is an economist and financial journalist. He is a visiting fellow at the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research and has written on inequality, wealth and poverty for academic and specialist journals as well as the Guardian, Observer and Independent.

He is the author of a number of books including The Cost of Inequality ( 2011 ); Top Man ( a biography of Philip Green, 2007 ); Rich Britain ( 2006 ) and Poor Britain ( with Joanna Mack, 1985 ). His previous academic posts include the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the Henley Centre and the Universities of Brunel and Reading. He is also a former executive producer in the current affairs department of the BBC. 

Contact Stewart:

Current books:

S Lansley and J Mack, Breadline Britain: The Rise of Mass Poverty, Oneworld, February 2015

The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality is Essential for Recovery, Gibson Square, 2011



The book argues that the real roots of the current crisis lie in the way the gains from growing prosperity – in the UK, US and a number of other rich countries - have been increasingly colonised by a small super-rich global elite. Growing inequality had squeezed incomes, sucked the lifeblood out of the productive economy and made the British and global economy much more prone to crisis.

It provides compelling evidence that British and American capitalism has become little more than a wealth-diverting machine, geared to enriching the few at the expense of the rest. Escape from the crisis and building a sustainable recovery depends on a more equal distribution of the cake. 

Runner-up, Spear's Business Book of the Year, 2011

' Exposes the truth about the economic catastrophe that afflicts the western world: neoliberalism has created consumer societies in which millions are so poor they cannot afford to consume. `  New Statesman, Book of the Year

'Lansley's new work belongs on every “people's library” shelf in an Occupy movement encampment. Your bookshelf, too.' Institute for Policy Studies

'Compelling.... the central arguments of Lansley's book - and the solutions he proposes - deserve a wide hearing and an urgent place on the policy agenda.' Times Higher Education

'Most politicians think that our wellbeing depends on pandering to the interests of the rich. Lansley shows that the opposite is true: the crashes of 1929 and 2008 resulted from too much inequality and a failure to cut the rich down to size. It's a great book - read it!'                        Richard Wilkinson, co-author, The Spirit Level

'As the seminal book, The Cost of Inequality, has set out – we are suffering from a historic demand deficit.' Guardian Comment

'This timely book examines the toll that inequality takes on the economy… shows how the real lessons of the financial crisis risk being quietly forgotten.' Europe’s World

'Crammed with data and evidence, with this book in your hand you never need go into an argument unarmed.' Red Pepper

Recent articles:

Britain's Wages Crisis - Is 'Predistribution` or 'Redistribution` the Way Forward?, The Political Quarterly, March 2014:

An Economic Imperative, Fabian Review, January, 2014 

‘Low pay and soaring profits a lethal mix for the economy’, Yorkshire Post, 20 January 2014 

 ‘Is the growing anti-welfare climate the new normal?`, Working Brief, Autumn, 2013

Inequality – the defining issue of our times`, International Relations and Security Network, November, 2013

How to Increase the Wage Share, TUC Touchstone Pamphlet ( with Howard Reed ), June 2013.

 Poverty Minus a Pound, How the poverty consensus unravelled’,, May 2013

 The Hourglass Society’, Los Angeles Review of Books, May 28, 2013

The Rise and Fall of the Middle Class’, Vanguardia, Spring, 2013.

 Ed Miliband leads a turning point in progressive thinking`, Shifting Grounds, February, 2013

 Forget free market dogma, Prosperity need fairness`, Yorkshire Post, 21 February, 2013.

 Inequality, the Crash and the Crisis’, The Political Quarterly, Oct-Dec, 2012.

 Inequality and Instability’, Poverty, Issue 143, Summer 2012

 Inequality, the crash and the crisis’, Part 3: The Limit to Inequality, OECD Insights, June 15, 2012

Other books:

Londongrad: From Russia With Cash, The Inside Story of the Oligarchs, Fourth Estate, 2009 ( with Mark Hollingsworth )

‘A racy and alarming investigation of the effect of Russian money on Britain.’  Economist 

A gripping chronicle of the decadence, danger and sheer power that defined a phenomenon… the definitive investigation of the oligarch phenomenon which rose and fell in the short years of the bubble of the past decade… a gobsmacking, head-shaking read.’  City AM

 ‘A mind-boggling and magnificently emetic exposition of Russian expats who have made their homes in London.’  Sunday Times

Top Man: How Philip Green Built His High Street Empire, Aurum, 2006 ( with Andy Forrester ).

Chosen as one of the Financial Times’s six top business books of 2006.

‘A top-notch, even-handed biography… Top Man is a model of clarity. It will be enjoyed by business pundits and general readers alike`.  Times Higher Education Supplement

‘Thorough and well-written… A rattling good story'. The Observer

‘Scrupulously researched.`  Financial Times.

Poor Britain, Allen & Unwin, 1985, ( with Joanna Mack )

This developed a new 'censensual methodology' for measuring poverty - one based on majoritarian public opinion. It is a concept that has been adopted by the UK, Australian and New Zealand Government and the European Union and applied in many countries across the world from Sweden, Finland and Germany to Russia, South Africa and Japan.  

For more details see