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Journalist quits daily after 40 years for socialist paper

A well-known journalist and long-standing union representative has left a regional daily after 40 years to work for a socialist newspaper.

Peter Lazenby has stepped down from working at the Yorkshire Evening Post, where he was the father of chapel for the National Union of Journalists, to join daily title the Morning Star.

He started out in journalist as a trainee reporter in 1967 at the Wharfedale and Airedale Observer in his home town of Otley, joining the YEP in 1972.

In 1974, he became the industrial reporter, a role he held for 20 years, covering industrial disputes including the miners’ strikes, before becoming environmental reporter and winning an award for a campaign to clean-up the River Aire in Leeds.

Peter left the title on Friday and aims to spend more time helping his wife Joan looking after her mother at their Hebden Bridge home, alongside his various writing roles.

These include joining the Morning Star as part of attempts to boost its northern circulation, writing for trade union magazines, contributing to the Guardian, Red Pepper magazine and the New Statesman, while also writing a joint book with Anne Scargill – the ex-wife of union leader Arthur Scargill.

He started as a union representative in 1974 as a chapel clerk then later became father of chapel and was involved in campaigning against job cuts and taking part in strike action.

Peter remains as the vice-chair of the Leeds branch of the NUJ, while his union role at the Post has been taken over by assistant news editor Vicki Robinson, who becomes the mother of chapel.

He said: “Vicki is a real fighter, and the YP-YEP NUJ members are the bedrock of one of the most wonderful NUJ chapels in the regional newspaper industry.

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to work with and alongside them as true professionals, and as trades unionists.”

During his time at the paper, he was recognised by the regional TUC for his work in campaigning against the British National Party, with a series of articles which led to him receiving threats on extreme right websites.

Peter also won two national Race and the Media awards from the Commission for Racial Equality for work investigating the far right.


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  • August 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Good luck to Pete Lazenby: a superb journalist and trades unionist….

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  • August 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I used to work at a northern daily where two NUJ chapel journalists distributed Socialist Worker at local factories before coming to work. They were always the first to shout ‘Strike !’ on the slightest pretext. Not surprisingly, crying wolf so often led to them being largely ignored in the end. Both are now lecturers.

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  • August 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    MORNING STAR a socialist paper ?

    I thought it was the ‘organ’ of the Communist party of Great Britain ?

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