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Clippings

This is a selected list. You can find all my work at the Financial Times on my profile page.

  1. Sleaze will be hard to clean up while the data remains so opaque

    Financial Times

    Opinion piece describing how data published by the government and parliament, ostensibly for transparency, do not actually allow important questions to be answered, inhibiting accountability. Informed by my experience working on an earlier piece looking into MP’s second jobs.

  2. UK government's venture capital fund invests in yachts, yoghurt and jazz

    Financial Times

    Revealed the UK government’s secretive venture capital fund has invested in a Netflix-style streaming service for jazz, a manufacturer of alcoholic teas, a yoghurt bar company, a talent agency for social media influencers and a yacht rental service. I identified 200 companies, including those named in the piece by extracting text from documents.

  3. Property donors provide one-quarter of funds given to Conservatives

    Financial Times

    Revealed donations from individuals and companies in the property sector account for a quarter of donations made to the Conservative party, as critics say a planned liberalisation of England’s planning laws benefits housing developers. I linked Electoral Commission declarations to Companies House records, which have industry codes that identify those in the property sector.

  4. NHS shares English hospital data with dozens of companies

    Financial Times

    Revealed many commercial groups including management consultancies and pharmaceutical companies have received years of detailed medical records from English hospitals, as the NHS considers third party access to GP records. I extracted, combined, classified, and analysed five years’ of data release records to determine who had received data, and whether opt-outs were being applied. I also produced the graphics used in the piece.

    Data analysis.
  5. SoftBank-backed lender OakNorth hit with almost £100m of defaults

    Financial Times

    Revealed OakNorth bank has suffered several previously-unknown defaults, after earlier boasting of developing innovative software which meant they had made zero bad loans. I extracted and analysed data from Companies House to build up a picture of OakNorth’s loan book, and identified which companies were going through (or had gone through) insolvency processes.

  6. Essex council's £1bn borrowing spree to fund investment in solar power

    Financial Times

    Shortlisted for the British Journalism Awards. Revealed Thurrock council has used loans from 150 other local authorities and pension schemes to fund investments in renewable energy schemes. I analysed Companies House records to establish the corporate structure of the main scheme we focused on, identifing leads and checking claims using public records, as well as some general reporting and research.

  7. Amazon accused of bias in West Bank settlements

    Financial Times

    Revealed Amazon is offering free shipping to highly contentious Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, but only to their Palestinian neighbours if they list their country as Israel. I scraped a list of addresses of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. I wrote some code to loop through each, enter it into Amazon, and see what shipping options were given.

  8. Top health websites are sharing sensitive data with advertisers

    Financial Times

    Shortlisted for the Sigma Awards. Revealed some of the UK’s most popular health websites protected personal health data, including symptoms and drug names, is shared with hundreds of third parties including Google and Facebook. I used a list of the top 100 UK health websites, ran it through a tool built by researchers to study web traffic, and analysed the results. For sites we wanted to look at in more detail I used a separate tool to look inside the data and metadata inside the requests that make up that traffic.

    Explainer video.
  9. Western AI researchers partnered with Chinese surveillance firms

    Financial Times

    Revealed western artificial intelligence researchers partnered with organisations linked to Chinese state surveillance. Also found researchers using images of faces scraped from social media and CCTV. I analysed academic papers to extract out authorship information so we could identify these collaborations. I then used the same technique to search for which papers mentioned working with sets of images known to have been collected without consent.

    Feature.
  10. Rules to curb UK money laundering widely flouted

    Financial Times

    Revealed almost half of the UK corporate structures most associated with money laundering, Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs), failing to comply with ownership regulations – yet escaping punishment. I analysed records published by Companies House, extracting out the type of each company, then joining those records with another set of data listing the declared beneficial ownership to calculate rates of compliance.

  11. Sole outsource bidders win more public sector contracts

    Financial Times

    Revealed close to one quarter of public sector contracts awarded in 2018 went to sole bidders, either because contracts were given directly to a specific company without a competitive tender, or because there was a competitive tender but only one company applied. I analysed government contract records published by the EU, transforming them from the format they are published in to something that could be interrogated. I also spoke with campaigners to understand the results.

  12. Offshore secrets of the UK's wealthy political donors

    The Guardian

    Revealed the offshore links of some of the most prominent donors to UK political parties, as well as international celebrities, judges, sportsmen, businessmen, and aristocrats. I analysed a leaked list naming 53,000 people holding accounts in the offshore bank Kleinwort Benson together with other lists of people of interest scraped from various sources using a fuzzy matching process I developed to account for different naming conventions.

    News story.