Martin Williams

The Herald / Herald on Sunday

I specialise in investigations focussing particularly on how financial decision-making affects people - namely taxpayers and bill-payers. The three front page investigations submitted are examples of exclusive front page agenda-setting stories in the public interest that hold power to account.

The ScottishPower story revealed for the first time that £7bn in dividends had been provided by the Glasgow-based energy firm to its foreign owners as it emerged it was pushing for a taxpayer-supported £100bn loan fund to allow energy firms to freeze dual fuel bills in the cost of living crisis. Liz Truss has recently announced a dual fuel bill price freeze, after the lobbying of ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson. Coverage sparked demonstrations outside the headquarters of the ScottishPower, led by political activists. It became a major talking point online and the general secretary of Britain's biggest union Unite went on to quote the investigation in a recent keynote address in Scotland. The investigation used key financial information confirmed by sources to verify precisely how much had been funnelled to Iberdrola over 15 years. This story has been picked up by politicians, campaigners and unions to fight for a windfall tax to help bring people's bills down in the cost of living crisis. It was part of a run of investigations surrounding the cost of living crisis that also revealed for the first time nearly £1 billion has been given to energy firms to switch off mainly Scottish wind farm turbines because they produce too much power - with the money going onto our energy bills. The investigation, the second entered here, evealed through official documents provided by sources how it is set to soar to record amounts in the next four years. Politicians have now been fighting for changes to ensure that there is a way to stop these soaring costs. The third investigation revealed how the Scottish Government stood to lose most of the £120 million ploughed in to prop up three major companies in Scotland The loans were used to prop up Prestwick Airport, Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd – the ailing shipbuilder at the centre of Scotland’s ferry building fiasco – and Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab), a struggling Fife renewables manufacturer. The sourcing came from financial statements and further confirmed thorough sources. This linked to further investigations into losses made by the Scottish Government while nationalising Ferguson Marine, which is at the centre of a ferry-building scandal with delays and soaring costs to support key lifeline services around Scotland's islands. We separately revealed how ministers sought to use public money to ensure Ferguson Marine, owned by a independence-supporting tycoon won a contract to build vital lifeline vessels. All investigations have become major talking points, with politicians taking the issues up withScottish and UK Governments.. I am a believer in this era of so-called fake news of the importance of illustrating any story/investigation that I do with as many images and supplementary evidence including document screen grabs plus multimedia when I can, to provide a three-dimensional article.