Paul Foot Award Winners

All The Winners

The Paul Foot Award was set up in memory of Paul Foot, the great journalist and campaigner who died in 2004. Winners of the award since its inception in 2006 are as follows:


2023 - David Conn
David Conn of The Guardian for his entry Revealed: Conservative peer Michelle Mone and her family secretly received millions from "VIP lane" PPE firm. Conn’s investigation uncovered how Baroness Mone and her three adult children had been secretly paid £29m from the profits from PPE contracts. The PPE company she was linked to is now under investigation.


2022 - Hannah Al-Othman and David Collins
Hannah Al-Othman and David Collins, The Sunday Times for their entry on The Murder of Agnes Wanjiru painstakingly uncovered the story of the murder of Kenyan sex worker Agnes Wanjiru, revealing a disturbing culture of misogyny, secrecy, and impunity in the British army. Richard Brooks and Nick Wallis were also presented with a special award on the night for their Private Eye Special Report on the Post Office scandal.

2021 - Robert Smith and team
Robert Smith and team of the Financial Times for their entry on The Unravelling of Lex Greensill. The Financial Times’s compelling reporting brought the revolving doors of politics and finance to life and documented former prime minister David Cameron’s dubious role lobbying for financier Lex Greensill to have access to Treasury Covid relief schemes. The competition was so close this year that Jack Shenker, Tortoise, was also Highly Commended by the judges for his report Death at the Ministry.

2020 - Alexandra Heal
Alexandra Heal of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism for Nowhere to Turn. With extensive and in-depth research, Heal’s series “Nowhere to Turn” uncovered the shocking story of how police forces handle domestic abuse complaints against their own officers. Her investigation has led to a super-complaint being lodged with the police inspectorate, highlighting how police forces have abandoned vulnerable women while seeking to protect their own.

2019 - Emily Dugan
Emily Dugan, Buzzfeed for her Access to Justice campaign. Her persistence in reporting the human cost of the degradation of England’s justice and legal aid system won the admiration of the judges and the hostility of government spin doctors, who derided Dugan as “crazy”. Reports of defendants left without lawyers, and apparently malicious withdrawal of legal aid created a picture of a cornerstone of democracy on the brink of disintegration.

2018 - Amelia Gentleman
Amelia Gentleman of the Guardian for her Long-term UK residents classed as illegal immigrants campaign. Her investigation centred on tightened immigration regulations and the catastrophic consequences for a group of elderly Commonwealth-born citizens who were told they were illegal immigrants, despite having lived in the UK for around 50 years – but with no formal paperwork to prove it.

2017 - Emma Youle
Emma Youle of the Archant Investigations Unit, for her investigation in the Hackney Gazette of the borough’s enormous, but hidden, homeless problem – highlighting the plight of the thousands who live in temporary accommodation.

2014 - Jonathan Calvert & Heidi Blake / Richard Brooks & Andrew Bousfield
Entries for the tenth Paul Foot Award were of such a high standard the judges decided to recognise two outstanding campaigns and appoint joint winners: Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake of The Sunday Times for their exposure of corruption at FIFA and Richard Brooks and Andrew Bousfield of Private Eye for their investigation into corruption on a contract between the governments of the UK and Saudi Arabia.

2013 - David Cohen
David Cohen of the London Evening Standard for his work on gangs, which was part of the newspaper’s Frontline London campaign. A Special Investigation Award of £2,000 was given to The Guardian’s Snowden Team for its investigation into the extent of mass surveillance undertaken by GCHQ. The other four shortlisted campaigns were each awarded £1,000.

2012 - Andrew Norfolk
Andrew Norfolk of The Times for his two-year investigation into the targeting, grooming and sexual exploitation of teenage girls by gangs of men. Rob Waugh of the Yorkshire Post was the runner-up for his series of investigations into mis-spending by senior officers of Cleveland Police and abuse of power by ACPO and CPOSA. The judges also decided to appoint a Special Campaign Award to the Daily Mail’s Stephen Wright for 15 years of reporting on the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.

2011 - Nick Davies
Nick Davies for his selection of key stories in The Guardian from a long-running and painstaking investigation into phone-hacking at the News of the World. Jonathan Calvert and Claire Newell were runners-up for their series of articles in the Sunday Times exposing corruption in the contests to host the World Cup Finals.

2010 - Clare Sambrook
Clare Sambrook for her investigating, reporting and campaigning against the government policy of locking up asylum-seeking families in conditions known to harm their mental health, and scrutinising the commercial contractors who run the detention centres for profit. A special Lifetime Campaign Award was also won by Eamonn McCann.

2009 - Ian Cobain
Ian Cobain of The Guardian for his long-running investigation into Britain's involvement in the torture of terror suspects detained overseas.

2008 - Richard Brooks & Camilla Cavendish
Camilla Cavendish of The Times for her investigation into the many injustices which have resulted from the Children Act 1989 and the professional cultures that have grown up around child "protection"; jointly with Richard Brooks of Private Eye for his investigation in to the mismanagement and financial irregularities surrounding the sale of the UK government's international development business, Actis.

2007 - David Leigh & Rob Evans and Deborah Wain
David Leigh and Rob Evans of The Guardian for their investigation into the issue of bribery in the British arms trade and Deborah Wain of the Doncaster Free Press for her exposé of corruption in the Doncaster Education City project.

2006 - David Harrison
David Harrison of the Sunday Telegraph whose three-part undercover investigation into the sex trafficking gangs of eastern Europe was praised by the UN and prompted action by British police and the Home Office.

2005 - John Sweeney
John Sweeney of the Daily Mail for his investigation into "Shaken Baby Syndrome" which led to the wrongly imprisoned mothers Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Donna Anthony being freed and resulted in the exposure of the prosecution's chief witness, the eminent paediatrician Sir Roy Meadow.


The Paul Foot Award was set up in memory of revered investigative journalist Paul Foot, who died in 2004.

Paul Foot, an investigative journalist, editor and left-wing campaigner, worked variously for the Daily Record, the Daily Mirror, The Guardian and Private Eye. He was involved in many high-profile campaigns throughout his illustrious career, including the Birmingham Six, the Bridgewater Four and the John Poulson scandal. His accolades include the Journalist of the Year, the Campaigning Journalist of the Year, the George Orwell Prize for Journalism and in 2000 he was honoured as the Campaigning Journalist of the Decade.

Paul Foot died in 2004 at the age of 66.

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