Ben Gartside

The i Paper

Ben has used his nose for a story and his impressive contacts book to deliver a string of exclusives on government policy and infrastructure that repeatedly beat the entire Westminster lobby to major announcements. His award entries are scoops on the scrapping of the Government's smart motorways project, plans to expand migrant detention centres and an "urgent" shortage of RAF pilots.

Ben’s reporting has been bold, authoritative and agenda setting, often learning of major policy announcements weeks before they are publicly confirmed. He is a born reporter who is always either hitting the phone or out meeting his contacts, and these hard yards are regularly rewarded with significant tips.

He was the first to report the government was pausing its rollout of its controversial smart motorways programme, 10 days before it was publicly confirmed by the government. This story was widely followed up across all other national media.

The smart motorways roll-out was one of the most controversial areas of public infrastructure policy of the past decade, and has been blamed for several deaths. This major public interest story reveals Ben’s commitment to stories that matter – and that will affect peoples’ lives.

He also broke details of a Government review into "urgent" pilot shortages in the RAF, which proved to be the culmination of years of failures in recruitment and training which he documented in the piece. He has also scrutinised the UK's immigration and asylum policy, which has undergone significant changes in the past year. In August, Ben broke news that contractors had been brought in to expand the UK's detention centres using designs based on prisons, despite denials from the Government of such a policy to local MPs.

Ben is still a relatively young journalist, having only joined the industry in 2020, and the ability he has already shown to land agenda setting stories, and his dedication to public interest reporting, mark him out as one of the best emerging story-getters in the UK.