Curriculum Vitae

I am a freelance writer, editor and commentator, specialising in international affairs, aid issues, and travel.

From June 2016 until December 2017 I was Editor of Asian Affairs, a monthly magazine.

Previously I spent 22 and a half years on the foreign news staff of the Independent titles, starting as a member of the team that launched The Independent in October 1986, and ending as Foreign Editor of The Independent on Sunday in March 2009.

I chaired the judging panel for the International Journalist of the Year award in the 2018 One World Media awards.

I am on the UK executive of the Commonwealth Journalists’ Association, and was a Commonwealth election observer in Guyana in May 2015.

Here, in reverse chronological order, are some career highlights:

2008: Reported undercoveruntitled from Zimbabwe, where I revealed Robert Mugabe’s plans to win the election by violence.

2006: Covered Britain’s war against the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

2004: Reported from Equatorial Guinea and South Africa on a failed coup plot which disgraced Sir Mark Thatcher

2002-2003: Led a team shortlisted at the British Press Awards for coverage of the invasion of Iraq, and the propaganda campaign in the US and Britain that preceded it. Among numerous exclusives was the only interview with the Iraqi diplomat at the centre of claims that Iraq tried to buy nuclear material from Niger.
An article I co-wrote with Andrew Buncombe set in motion the events which led to the jailing of a White House aide, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Another piece on the misuse of intelligence, written jointly with Paul Lashmar, was published in The Iraq War Reader.

Before 2001, when I resumed the role of foreign editor, I was a news and features writer for The Independent on Sunday, tackling everything from Avon ladies in Milton Keynes to the handover of Hong Kong.

A founding member of The Independent foreign staff when the paper was founded in 1986, I became Asia Editor in 1990, covering, among other stories, the fall of the Communist regime in Afghanistan, the funeral of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and the first visit to China by a Japanese emperor. I moved to the Sunday paper in 1996.

Previously I worked at the Financial Times, Reuters and newspapers in South Africa and Australia.

Full CV is available on request here