The prestigious £25,000 prize, sponsored by Haymarket Media Group, was established in memory of writer, editor and broadcaster Anthony Howard, and will see Zeffman undertake three successive fellowships with the titles most closely associated with Howard: the Times, the Observer and New Statesman.
Recognised as one of the most acute political commentators of his generation and a familiar face and voice on TV and radio, Howard was also an acute judge of new talent. With this in mind, Lord Heseltine, who established Haymarket Media Group, set up the award to honour the memory of his lifelong friend.
The prize was determined by historical fiction novelist Robert Harris; author of ‘The Prime Minister: The Office And Its Holders Since 1945’, Peter Hennessy; BAFTA-winning producer, Sir Jeremy Isaacs; broadcaster, journalist and author, Jeremy Paxman; and biographical writer Claire Tomalin.
Applicants were invited to submit a detailed proposal for a 5,000-word essay on a political theme. Zeffman won with his proposal to examine whether career politicians, who have lost their seat in an election they contended, will stay engaged in politics.
"It's such an honour to have won the Anthony Howard Award, and I'm absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity of working on three brilliant publications over the coming year,” Zeffman said.
“We are currently experiencing a really exciting time for British politics. The Labour party will soon elect a new leader, and the full consequences of the SNP surge are still being seen. Meanwhile, the in-out EU referendum lurks on the horizon - I can't wait to get started."