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Regional journalist up for prestigious political writing prize

A regional daily journalist has been nominated for an award described as “Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing”.

Manchester Evening News political and social affairs editor Jennifer Williams has been longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils.

Jennifer has been nominated following an investigation into the use of the drug known as ‘spice’ in Manchester.

A total of 12 different nominations appear on the longlist, including journalists from The Guardian, Financial Times and BBC Panorama.

The MEN ran a special edition on the spice issue following Jen's investigation

The MEN ran a special edition on the spice issue following Jen’s investigation

Jen, who researched the issue for six months prior to the investigation being published, told HTFP: “I am absolutely delighted to be nominated for such a wonderful prize and am also particularly pleased to see my fellow North-West journalists Dan Hewitt and Mat Heywood [of ITV Granada] also on the longlist.

“It’s a testament to the fact regional journalism continues to make a real impact, shining a light not only on the very real social problems playing out in our communities, but the significance of those at a national level.

“Manchester’s battle with spice is a story I have followed for several years, one that often affects the most sidelined people in society.

“We have tried to consistently tell that story as clearly as possible so our readers – including those with the power to make decisions – can understand its human toll. I’m proud our journalism has helped bring that more to the fore.”