Political editor Martin Bright leaves New Statesman

New Statesman political editor Martin Bright has become the latest journalist to leave the magazine – after more than three years in the job.

The left-wing news weekly said Bright, who has been in the role since October 2005, was leaving “to work on a film project”.

His departure follows that of media columnist Brian Cathcart and arts editor Alice O’Keefe last week.

Sources at the magazine have also told Press Gazette that associate editor Barbara Gunnell has been informed she faces redundancy and books editor Ian Irvine has been asked to reapply for his job.

The shake-up at the New Statesman comes after the appointment of Jason Cowley, the former editor of literary magazine Granta, as editor in September.

Bright had reportedly been one of the other candidates in the running for the editor’s job following the abrupt departure of John Kampfner from the title last February.

In a statement released by the New Statesman on Thursday evening, Cowley said: ‘I have only worked with Martin for three months, but I know the whole team at the New Statesman value the outstanding work he has done, and wish him the very best for the future.

“I hope he will continue to contribute to the magazine.”

Since joining the title in October 2005, Bright – a former BBC, Guardian and Observer journalist – has presided over a series of political scoops.

His work has included an investigation into the British government’s relationship with political Islam, and a report on the rendition of terror suspects, for which he won the Press Gazette Magazine Journalism Award for exclusive of the year in 2006.

Bright said he was “very proud” to have been the magazine’s political editor, which he described as “one of the best jobs in British journalism”.

“I am grateful to have had the chance to work with such a brilliant team of talented and committed individuals, but after more than three years in the job, the time has come to move on,” he said.

The New Statesman was formed in 1913 ‘with the aim of permeating the educated and influential classes with socialist ideas”.

It is jointly owned by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson and Michael Danson, a businessman who used his fortune from the sale of B2B information company Datamonitor to buy a 50 per cent stake in the title last April.

The magazine does not officially recognise the National Union of Journalists, but its publisher Spencer Neal told Press Gazette last week that meetings with the union to discuss this would take place next month.

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