Charlie Bibby

Financial Times

Keir Starmer - glitter

After the Conservatives’ chaotic autumn conference in Manchester, where Liz Truss and the right of the party managed to undermine the leadership of prime minister Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer’s aim was to use his own event to portray the Labour party as the sensible and pragmatic government in waiting. As he was preparing to deliver his keynote speech live on national television, the drama unfolded: a protester stormed the stage and, with security seemingly absent, covered him in glitter. Charlie’s perfectly timed photograph shows the moment of the attack, with a shocked Starmer reacting to the protester as he threw glitter at him. But despite the stunt, Starmer took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and delivered the speech of his life. Silencing his critics, this was perhaps a turning point in his leadership.


Weighing down the UK economy since the pandemic, high inflation has triggered a cost of living crisis, exacerbated soaring energy bills, and set the backdrop for charged political debate. This long-running story has dominated the headlines for the past two years. Charlie’s remarkable photograph is of the Bank of England, as it announced a pause in the raising of interest rates to combat inflation, perhaps in the moment of peak inflation. This beautiful photograph is a fine example of how creative thinking and sharp news sense can elevate coverage of a repetitive story, and how bespoke commissioned photography can add value to our journalism.

Drought Although officially the wettest part of the country, the Lake District was running low on water. Why? The FT’s deep dive into the management of the country's water attempted to answer this question. “Changing climate patterns are part of the picture. But a key culprit is an over-reliance on abstraction — where companies take water from rivers and natural underground reservoirs called aquifers — and a neglected water and sewage network, some of which hasn’t been upgraded in decades.” Charlie’s stunning photograph of a local resident walking her dog on the bone-dry bed of the river Derwent as the heavens above her opened was the standout visual moment of this deeply reported piece. His subsequent videos and stills brought the FT’s analysis of drought in the UK to life.