Stephen Wright

Daily Mail

For seven years, Stephen Wright has led the way in exposing the scandal of Operation Midland – Scotland Yard’s disastrous VIP child abuse inquiry based on the lies of the now convicted paedophile, Carl Beech, aka Nick. Proving the importance of persistence and making the story your own, Wright spent years trying to land a first exclusive interview with Leon Brittan’s widow Lady Brittan about her and her husband’s experience in Operation Midland and a related botched rape inquiry.

In February 2021 she finally agreed to break her silence across eight pages in the Mail and an accompanying six-part podcast series, hosted by Wright, in which she spoke in devastating terms of a ‘culture of cover up and flick away’ in the Met and accused senior officers of ‘lacking a moral compass’ – themes which a year later would cost Cressida Dick her job. The interview was full of harrowing detail of her terminally-ill husband’s ordeal in his last few months, and hers too when police raided their homes with unlawfully obtained search warrants just six weeks after he died. Wright’s doggedness was also demonstrated in September 2022 when he delivered two huge scoops exposing a prison scandal relating to one of Stephen Lawrence’s convicted killers, David Norris. Following a major investigation, Wright revealed in a sensational front page splash and across two pages inside that Norris had been taking sickening selfies of himself in his prison cell and unlawfully sending them to friends and associates outside on What’s App. Dressed in Armani clothes and aviator sunglasses, Norris also posted an appalling foul-mouthed rant against the Justice Secretary and boasted about being released in two years’ time.

The next day came arguably an even bigger scoop, when Wright revealed that Norris’s smartphone had been found ‘secreted’ in an intimate part of his body during an X-ray. Wright’s scoops were widely followed up and resulted in Norris being put into segregation, stripped of his privileges, a criminal investigation launched by police and a Government-promised crackdown on prisoners using mobile phones behind bars. The world’s media descended on New York in late 2021 for the long-awaited trial of Ghislaine Maxwell. Competition for scoops was intense but it was Wright who landed a series of scoops including a world exclusive interview with one of the four women who testified against Maxwell, Carolyn Andriano.

He persuaded her to waive her anonymity, for no interview fee, to tell the world how Prince Andrew’s teen sex accuser Virginia Roberts had confessed to her in 2001 about sleeping with the Duke and showed her then the notorious picture of them together. It proved to be a final nail in the coffin of Prince Andrew who would later settle with Miss Roberts. And it was not a gift wrapped scoop but the result of old school reporting in the finest traditions of Fleet Street – knocking doors and persuading people to speak. Wright had previously persuaded Miss Andriano’s mother to do a separate bombshell interview in Florida – earning her crucial trust.