Young journalist scoops £25,000 prize with plan to probe backbench MPs

A Sunday Times journalist has won the prestigious Anthony Howard award and a £25,000 prize for her plan to investigate backbench MPs.

Lucy Fisher, 24, wrote a 5,000 word essay on her idea to probe how a small number of MPs who have used Select Committee Membership to increase their profile and improve career prospects.

Fisher defeated 125 other entrants for the prize established by Lord Heseltine, founder of the Haymarket Media Group in honour of his friend Anthony Howard.

One judge commented: “That’s exactly the type of article Tony would have commissioned.”

Howard was regarded as an excellent political commentator who was associated with The Times, The Observer and the New Statesman.

Now Fisher will have 12 months to work across the three titles.

She said: “I am delighted to have won and am greatly excited at the prospect of the year ahead at three brilliant publications. It’s an honour to be named the first Anthony Howard Award winner – he was such a titan of political journalism.”

The panel who chose Fisher as winner of the inaugural award included Robert Harris, Peter Hennessy, Sir Jeremy Isaacs, Jeremy Paxman and Claire Tomlain.

Howard operated in Washington for the Observer during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.

He edited the New Statesman for six years from 1972. He was also obituaries editor at the Times.

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