Journalist Profile

David Leigh

David Leigh, Britain, is the investigations editor for The Guardian newspaper of London and a former producer for World in Action, an investigative program on Britain's Granada TV.

At The Guardian he has overseen publication of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables, disclosed a cover-up by toxic waste dumpers Trafigura, revealed £1 billion paid to Saudi prince Bandar by arms company BAE, helped put government minister Jonathan Aitken in jail over arms sales, exposed secret payments to the prime minister’s son, Mark Thatcher, and exposed MI5 vetting of the BBC’s journalists. 

His 1995 documentary Jonathan of Arabia led to the arrest of senior British politician Jonathan Aitken on perjury charges. The investigation showed that Aitken, then a cabinet minister for defense procurement, had benefited from bribes paid to Saudi royalty to arrange Saudi Arabian arms deals. Leigh has reported for This Week, another major British TV news program, and directed investigations at The Observer from 1981 to 1989. He won Granada TV’s 1985 Investigative Reporter of the Year Award and three British Press Awards for campaigning journalism. He won another British Press Award in 1997 as a member of The Guardian investigative team that exposed Neil Hamilton, the trade minister in the Conservative government, for taking bribes.

Leigh has authored and co-authored nine books, including The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken, which was nominated for the 1997 George Orwell Memorial Fund book Prize, and Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy.

Read a Q&A with Leigh in ICIJ's Secrets of the Masters series of interviews.

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