Evening Standard announces new political team

The Evening Standard yesterday announced the line-up of its new political team, headed by Nicholas Cecil, following the retirement of Joe Murphy, who is stepping down as Political Editor after 17 years to pursue a “gap decade”.

Evening Standard announces new political team
From left to right: David Bond, Nicholas Cecil and Sophia Sleigh.

Nicholas, who has been the Evening Standard’s Deputy Political Editor since 2015, will take on the role of Political Editor on 19 July. He joined The Standard in 2006, having previously worked as Political Correspondent in Trevor Kavanagh's political team at The Sun, Central Press News Agency at Westminster, The Western Daily Press and The Western Morning News.

David Bond has been appointed Deputy Political Editor. He joins from the Financial Times, where he is currently Brexit Editor. David previously worked in the Evening Standard’s Sports team for six years, before going on to hold senior sports editorial roles at The Telegraph and the BBC, where he was a familiar face to millions reporting on the 2012 Olympics and other major sporting events. He joined the Financial Times as Media Correspondent in 2016, later becoming the paper’s Security and Defence Editor.

Sophia Sleigh, currently Political Reporter, has also been promoted to Political Correspondent.

Nicholas Cecil, Political Editor, said: "It is a huge honour to take up one of the most vital jobs in journalism, writing in the paper that sets the agenda for every newsdesk in London and informs the millions who read it each day or follow the news online around the world.

"It is an extremely exciting time to be appointed Political Editor as Emily Sheffield drives The Standard forward into a new digital era with incredible vision, energy and commitment and builds teams of diverse talents. David Bond returns to The Standard with a wealth of experience amassed at the BBC, Financial Times and Telegraph and is already gaining a reputation at Westminster for his excellent journalism. Sophia Sleigh is a supersonic fast reporter, breaking top exclusives with no story too challenging."

Nicholas also paid tribute to his predecessor, saying: "Joe Murphy has been a Lobby Legend to so many at Westminster including Prime Ministers, MPs, Commons staff and journalists. With his Herculean work ethic and fearless approach, he has delivered an endless stream of exclusives, agenda-setting stories and interviews over more than three decades. He has been such a great boss to so many journalists."

Emily Sheffield, Editor of The Evening Standard, said: “We are incredibly excited to bring together such an outstanding group of journalists to form our new political team, promoting Nicholas and Sophia and welcoming back David. At such an important time for London and the UK, the team, led by Nicholas, will use their immense experience, tenacity and deep connections in Westminster to deliver the most important political headlines and analysis to millions of Londoners and Standard readers globally.

“We also extend our thanks to Joe Murphy for his incredible service to the Standard over the past 20 years and the outstanding journalism he has delivered to our readers. We wish him all the best in his ‘gap decade’.”

David Bond, Deputy Political Editor, said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to the Evening Standard and honoured and excited to be joining the paper's brilliant political team."

Sophia Sleigh, Political Correspondent, said: "From Brexit through to the pandemic, the past few years have been a whirlwind in Parliament. I cannot wait for the next chapter as the Political Correspondent for the Standard."

Joe Murphy added: “I am delighted that Nicholas Cecil, one of the most brilliant story-getters I have ever met, is taking over the best job in journalism. As my deputy he has been my most ferocious competitor and valued friend. Nic is trusted by absolutely everyone at Westminster, from Cabinet ministers to Opposition leaders, to be fair, intelligent and to protect his sources. Above all, he is committed to the readers of the Evening Standard.

"David Bond is already a massive name in journalism who will bring completely fresh eyes and perspectives to Westminster, as well as unmatched analysis. I'm thrilled to see Sophia Sleigh promoted. She is brilliantly plugged into a generation of MPs and ministers who are soaring in reach and influence.

"Our editor, Emily Sheffield, has created a superb new team of talents who will deliver the best stories, backgrounders and breaking news for Londoners and the millions worldwide who follow the Evening Standard on digital platforms.

"It has been a privilege for me to eavesdrop on the gossip, plots and rivalries at Westminster for three riveting decades - and I can't wait to read what happens next in the Evening Standard."

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