David Conn

The Guardian

David Conn demonstrated stamina, tenacity and courage in his two-year battle to reveal how Tory peer Michelle Mone and her children received £29m as a result of a lucrative contract awarded to PPE Medpro, a company she helped secure a place in the government’s controversial Covid ‘VIP lane’. Mone and her husband, the Isle of Man-based financier Douglas Barrowman, responded to Conn’s persistent probing with fierce denials and legal threats. 

In November 2023, nearly three years after The Guardian’s first story on PPE Medpro, Mone and Barrowman finally admitted their involvement. Conn’s investigation prompted a parliamentary debate and contributed to the launch of a House of Lords Commissioner for Standards inquiry into Mone, who is still on leave of absence from the Lords. 

In another breakthrough, Conn reported exclusively on key proof that the British monarchy had profited from the transatlantic slave trade, prompting King Charles to announce support for research into the monarchy’s links to slavery. 

Judges praised Conn’s “remarkable determination and courage” in holding power to account in the highest public interest, singling out the Mone investigation, “which encompasses political sleaze, reaches the highest echelons of power and speaks to broader corruption,” for particular praise.