2016 winner: Patrick Maguire
Patrick Maguire, a 20-year-old recent graduate of University College London, has won the 2016 Anthony Howard Award for Young Journalists.
The prestigious £25,000 prize, sponsored by Haymarket Media Group, was established in memory of writer, editor and broadcaster Anthony Howard, and will see Maguire undertake three successive fellowships with the titles most closely associated with Howard: the Times, the Observer and New Statesman.
An acute political commentator and a familiar face and voice on TV and radio, Howard was also an astute judge of new talent. With this in mind, Lord Heseltine, who established Haymarket Media Group, set up the award to honour the memory of his lifelong friend.
The prize was determined by bestselling author Robert Harris, the constitutional historian Lord Hennessy, Bafta-winner Sir Jeremy Isaacs, broadcaster Jeremy Paxman and biographer Claire Tomalin.
Previous winners have gone on to significant careers in the British press: Lucy Fisher is now senior political correspondent at the Times; Ashley Cowburn is political correspondent at the Independent and last year's winner, Henry Zeffman, will join the staff at the Times in October.
Applicants were invited to submit a detailed proposal for a 5,000-word essay on a political theme. Maguire won with his proposal to examine what happens to constituencies whose MPs are shunned by their parties.
"It's a real honour to have won the Anthony Howard Award,” said Maguire. “I'm thrilled to have joined such esteemed company and can't wait to get started. Next year promises to be yet another unpredictable one for British politics and I'm sure I'll enjoy trying to make sense of it at three brilliant publications."
Lord Heseltine with Patrick Maguire. Photograph by Sophia Evans