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John Mills

John Mills

Best known for:

John Mills is best known as the founder and chairman of JML


John Mills is an economist and author, noted for his writing on Brexit, the Labour Party and exchange rate policy. He is also the founder and chairman of JML, the consumer goods distribution company.


As a student, during the 1959 summer vacation John started selling household cleaning goods door-to-door after hiring a Boeing Stratocruiser to fly fellow students to Canada for summer jobs. On leaving University, and after two years in the National Service in the Royal Navy, he joined Unilever’s management graduate scheme but left after six months to start what became a series of businesses.

John founded John Mills Limited (JML) in 1986, which then became a global multi-channel retailer specialising in selling high-volume consumer products through in-store video, TV shopping channels, and the Internet. It was founded in the basement of his house in Camden and he remains the majority shareholder and Chairman of the company. With an annual turnover approaching £100 million, JML sells more than 15 million products every year and employs more than 250 people. Operating in more than 70 different countries.

John Mills is a lifelong Labour Party supporter and donor and was a Labour Councilor in Camden from 1971 – 2006. During his tenure he served in a number of appointments including Deputy Chairman of the London Docklands Corporation, Chair of the Housing Committee at the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the London Boroughs Association, and Chair of both the Housing and Finance Committees of the London Borough of Camden.

He is also Director of think-tank openDemocracy. In 2018, he resigned his statutory positions in all the political organisations with which he was involved to comply with Ofcom requirements and avoid a conflict with JML running a TV shopping channel.

John is also an economist and has written widely about how the UK and the West in general has failed to compete effectively with the East. He has argued that the UK should take a much more active position on managing the price of sterling to encourage the growth of UK manufacturing an investment.

He has published many books including:

  • Growth and Welfare: A New Policy for Britain (1972)
  • Monetarism or Prosperity? (1982)
  • Tackling Britain’s False Economy (1997)
  • Europe’s Economic Dilemma (1998)
  • America’s Soluble Problems (1999)
  • Managing the World Economy (2000)
  • A Critical History of Economics (2002)
  • Exchange Rate Alignments (2012)
  • Call to Action (2015)
  • The Real Sterling Crisis (2016)
  • Britain’s Achilles Heel (2017)

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