Guardian's Ian Cobain wins Paul Foot investigation award

Guardian journalist Ian Cobain has won the 2009 Paul Foot Award for his investigation into Britain’s involvement in the torture of terror suspects detained overseas.

Cobain collected his award and a prize of £5,000 at a ceremony in London last night.

The Paul Foot award celebrates investigative journalism and was set up by Private Eye and the Guardian in memory of journalist Paul Foot, who died in 2004.

Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye and one of seven judges, praised Cobain’s investigation as: “Excellent – A real Footy campaign. Dogged pursuit of the uncomfortable but true.”

Brian MacArthur, chairman of judges, said Cobain had uncovered the existence of a “secret, government-sanctioned interrogation policy … that led to suspects being tortured”.

He added: “Last March, Gordon Brown told the Commons that the interrogation policy was to be rewritten and that it would then be made public,” MacArthur added.”

Five runners-up each received a £1,000 prize:

The Telegraph’s Ben Leapman for his investigations into MPs’ expenses

Rob Waugh, of the Yorkshire Post, for his investigations into spending at Leeds Metropolitan University, the takeover of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and mismanagement at Leeds City Credit Union.

Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury, of the Daily Mail, for their stories on lawyer Shahrokh Mireskandari.

Guardian’s Paul Lewis for his coverage of the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London in April.

Sunday Times journalist John Calvert and Claire Newman for their investigations into financial and legislative abuses by members of the House of Lords.

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