Hayley Dixon

The Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph

Hayley Dixon’s work consistently has a major impact on both policy and public opinion.

Her investigations have led to: ministers’ reassessing a central part of the Government’s Net Zero policy; an investigation by the Charity Commission into major safeguarding concerns at a children’s charity; and prompted the Health Secretary to launch an inquiry into the use of single sex hospital wards. She shows persistence and determination in confronting controversial and often underreported topics and simplifies complex issues in a way readers can understand. Hayley consistently receives praise for connecting to her audience, including from those who do not consider themselves to be traditional Telegraph readers but who have contacted her to say that they now subscribe to the newspaper or website because of her work. Her investigations include an expose of how the Government’s pledges on tree planting were ignoring the fact that they were paying green energy subsidies to burn the equivalent of 25 million trees a year in biomass plants. Hayley travelled to Estonia and Latvia in order to illustrate that whole trees were being used to generate wood pellets, and to match the location of logging with important biodiversity sites, raising questions over sustainability. The day of publication environment minister Zac Goldsmith admitted that there were “real problems” with the practice, and later promised an inquiry. The piece prompted a campaign by MPs. A later investigation by Hayley showed that biomass was central to the Government’s Net Zero plan and would require an increase in the number of trees being burnt. These pieces led to the Energy Secretary telling MPs leading the campaign that the system “doesn’t make any sense”. Within days of publishing her investigation into Mermaids children’s charity earlier this month, which revealed that they were sending free breast binding devices to children against their parent’s wishes and telling them potentially life-altering medications were safe, an investigation was opened by the Charity Commission. The regulator announced that they were opening a regulatory compliance case a day after Hayley submitted the dossier of evidence that she had amassed during an extensive investigation into the actions of the charity’s staff on both the forums and web chats. Online, the stories generated more than 150,000 page views and over a thousand comments within a matter of days and, like many of Hayley’s exclusives, it has been followed by other national news outlets. In another example of the impact of her investigative work, Sajid Javid ordered a review into single sex wards after Hayley combed through hospital policies from NHS trusts across the country, some obtained through FOI requests, and found that male born sex offenders would being placed on female-only wards if they self-identified as women. Her work on charity pay, the most extensive investigation into the subject to date compiled through a painstaking analysis of accounts, also led to a regulator warning that that the public would not accept sky-high salaries in the third sector.