The Private Eye Paul Foot Award 2024 for Investigative and Campaigning Journalism – Shortlist Announced!

The Private Eye Paul Foot Award 2024 shortlist has been revealed today, comprising the best submissions from across national and regional digital and print publications.

The award, which is now in its twentieth year, was set up in memory of renowned journalist Paul Foot who died in 2004, and recognises the UK’s most brilliant, talented and determined journalists working in the fields of investigative and campaigning journalism.

Following a record number of entries this year, the judges were impressed by the breadth and depth of stories, including those exposing dubious local government dealings, alleged abuse and bullying in the finance world, failures in the UK’s mental health system, windfalls for big polluters and the silencing and persecution of the most powerless in society.

The shortlist will be celebrated at an awards ceremony at BAFTA on Tuesday 11th June, hosted by Ian Hislop. The winning entry for 2024 will be awarded £8,000—with runners up receiving £1,500 per entry—and a piece on the winner will appear in the print issue of Private Eye, available on 19 June.


Antonia Cundy, Madison Marriage, Paul Caruana Galizia, FT/Tortoise:

Investigation into Crispin Odey

Tristan Kirk, Evening Standard:

Single justice procedure: conveyor belt justice

Anthony Lane, Humberto J Rocha, OPIS:

Stopping carbon windfalls for big polluters closing plants

Lewis McBlane, The Northern Scot:

A96 dualling: a Moray cover-up

Justine Smith, The House magazine:

CAMHS in crisis

Rebecca Thomas, The Independent:

Failures in the UK mental health system

This year’s judging panel, chaired by Pádraig Reidy, Little Atoms, comprises Julia Langdon, Political Journalist and Broadcaster; Sir Simon Jenkins, The Guardian; Helen Lewis, The Atlantic; Francis Wheen, Private Eye; Matt Foot, criminal defence solicitor; Kim Sengupta, The Independent; Janine Gibson, Financial Times; and David Conn, The Guardian and winner of the 2023 Paul Foot Award.

Pádraig Reidy, Chair of Judges, The Private Eye Paul Foot Award, commented: The volume and quality of this year’s entries made the shortlist selection difficult but enormously edifying for the judges. Knowing that there are so many reporters, both experienced and new to the trade, working so hard to uncover challenging stories should give us all faith that great journalism will always happen so long as there are people with the will, wit and tenacity to do it.”

On the twentieth anniversary of Paul Foot’s death, a posthumous biography of the revered and influential journalist will be released. Paul Foot: A Life in Politics, written by Margaret Renn, will be published by Verso Books in July.

Further information on the shortlist is below.


Antonia Cundy, Madison Marriage, Paul Caruana Galizia, FT/Tortoise

Investigation into Crispin Odey

Cundy, Marriage and Caruana Galizia told the story of alleged sexual abuse and bullying by Crispin Odey, for decades a larger-than-life character in the finance world.

Tristan Kirk, Evening Standard

Single justice procedure: conveyor belt justice

Kirk’s reporting illustrated how the “single justice procedure” makes justice impossible for people without the means or wherewithal to challenge the system, creating a conveyor belt system that has removed humanity and fairness from the law.

Anthony Lane, Humberto J Rocha, OPIS

Stopping carbon windfalls for big polluters closing plants

The OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) team exposed how carbon windfall credits paid out by the British and EU governments resulted in big polluters making millions by cutting jobs and closing plants.

Lewis McBlane, The Northern Scot

A96 dualling: a Moray cover-up

McBlane revealed how plans for the development of the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness, dubbed the most unpopular road in Scotland, were quietly dropped by the SNP government.

Justine Smith, The House magazine

CAMHS in crisis

Smith’s FoI-led investigation was a compelling and important read, putting the plight of vulnerable children right in front of MPs in parliament’s trade magazine. The findings were reported across national media.

Rebecca Thomas, The Independent

Failures in the UK mental health system

Campaigning journalism exposing the failures in the UK mental health system, which focused on telling the stories in suffering patients’ own words.