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Exaro’s David Hencke scoops political award

Exaro’s senior reporter, David Hencke, was last night named ‘Political Journalist of the Year’ at the British Journalism Awards 2012.

Hencke’s series of stories that unveiled the ‘Whitehall tax scandal’ beat correspondents from The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Guardian, The Times and the Mail on Sunday.

The judges said: “His revelations over tax avoidance involving senior public-sector employees was a great story that is still resonating. It is a major scandal.”

Exaro’s editor-in-chief, Mark Watts, said: “David’s stories exposed an extraordinary scandal at the heart of Whitehall, and have had huge ramifications.”

In February, Hencke revealed how the chief executive of the Student Loans Company, Ed Lester, avoided paying tax at source by using a personal-service company. He went on to reveal how widespread the practice had become among senior public officials.

His disclosures resulted in a Treasury review across Whitehall, which identified 2,400 senior civil servants who were working ‘off payroll’. Hencke’s ongoing revelations continue to send shockwaves to the heart of government.

The winners of the British Journalism Awards were announced at Stationers’ Hall in London on December 4, 2012.

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