About Me

I am an experienced reporter and journalist, currently working as the sustainability correspondent for the New Statesman, and the New Statesman's Policy Supplement, Spotlight. 

I was previously senior reporter at the Local Government Chronicle.

My work to date has covered a broad range of topics including politics, culture, education, housing, climate change, and the environment. 

I also write a regular women's football newsletter, The Final Third.

My Work

We're telling the wrong story about climate policy

In a hurried speech broadcast in mid-September, a concerned looking Prime Minister explained it was time to tell the British people some hard truths. Then Rishi Sunak made a series of announcements that had already been splashed across the newspapers, and explained how a reduction of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions would mean “difficult choices”. He proceeded to delay several of those difficult choices.

The picture Sunak painted was a dishonest one. He argued that ordinary, working people sho

Five things to watch out for at Cop28

This week, more than 70,000 delegates will be gathering in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Cop28. The annual UN climate summit comes towards the end of what is likely to be the hottest year since records began, according to the EU’s Earth observation service, Copernicus.

Tomorrow, the international community will begin almost two weeks of intense discussion on how we can best prevent further global warming. Here’s some key moments and themes to expect.

A BBC investigation, in partnership wi

Four out of five landlords want higher energy efficiency standards, polling shows

After Rishi Sunak cancelled the requirement for homeowners to upgrade their properties to minimum energy efficiency standards by 2025, polling from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) reveals almost 80 per cent of landlords actually want stricter standards.

On 20 September, the Prime Minister announced that the government would no longer take forward plans that would require all landlords to upgrade their properties to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating C by 2025.

However, in a new rep

Will Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement really cut planning "red tape"?

Over the years, numerous chancellors, prime ministers and housing secretaries have promised to remove “red tape” and fix the UK’s broken planning system. A similar promise featured in Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-Budget in September 2022, and in yesterday’s Autumn Statement, Jeremy Hunt announced his plan to do the same.

Fixing the planning system (the Jeremy Hunt Version) includes confirmation that the government will allow councils and local planning authorities to set planning fees for m

Council bankruptcy tracker: authorities under increasing financial strain

Councils across the country find themselves in a turbulent financial position. Since 2021 five local authorities have declared themselves effectively bankrupt, with a raft of councils warning they may have to do the same. Exclusive polling of English councillors by New Statesman Spotlight revealed that a quarter of councillors believe their council will soon go bankrupt.

Amid dramatic cuts to the funding they receive from central government, councils continue to face increasing demand for statu

"On the outside looking in": Labour's shadow Cop

Cop28, which takes place at the end of this month in Dubai, falls at a pivotal moment for climate action in the UK and internationally. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rowed back on the UK’s net zero commitments, insisting that he was being “honest” with the British people in doing so. And the King’s Speech on 7 November included giving the green light to new oil and gas licences. Meanwhile, extreme weather events have wreaked havoc across the globe in recent months – from major st

Government short-termism may “jeopardise” net zero, MPs say

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero must work with the Treasury to outline a longer-term plan to fund net-zero innovation, MPs on the cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have said.

In a new report released today – Support for Innovation to Deliver Net Zero – the committee criticised the government for not considering the levels of long-term investment that will be needed to reach net zero. The PAC report points out that although the government has allocated £4.3bn of funding

Patrick Vallance's seven rules for net zero

The development of a vaccine typically takes a decade. But when the UK was faced with a lethal global pandemic, this process was expedited to a matter of months. This kind of successful “moonshot” mission might be just what we need to reach net zero.

As chief scientific advisor to the UK government between 2018-2023, Patrick Vallance had a front row seat for this feat of rapid scientific innovation. As the founder of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, Vallance, alongside the venture capitalist, Kate B

The Parliament Brief: Will the UK pay up for climate loss and damage?

Welcome to the Parliament Brief, where Spotlight, the New Statesman’s policy section, digests the latest and most important committee sessions taking place across the House of Commons and House of Lords. Previous editions can be found here.

Who? MPs of the Energy Security and Net Zero cross-party committee heard from Claire Coutinho, the Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary, Jonathan Mills, director-general of energy markets and supply at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ

New oil and gas licences will do "little for energy security and nothing to lower bills"

In the first King’s Speech for 70 years, the government took the opportunity to reassert its commitment to taking action on climate change and improving the UK’s energy security. Included was the pledge for a bill in the next parliamentary session to create an annual system for awarding new oil and gas licences. This follows a roll-back on the UK’s net zero agenda by the Prime Minister in September, and comes three weeks ahead of Cop28. Spotlight asked several people in the energy and environmen

Greening the grid

In 1997, the noises coming out of Labour HQ were all about “education, education, education”. But roll on 26 years and this mantra has been supplanted by a new, more mechanical challenge. In light of the need for better electrical infrastructure to aid the UK’s rapid decarbonisation, Labour seems keen to focus on “the grid, the grid, the grid”. At the party’s annual conference this week in Liverpool, it was all anyone could talk about.

Indeed, it is widely agreed by the environmental and energy

“Don't get left behind”: understanding the finance sector’s reliance on nature

Before 2020, the zoologist Andrew Mitchell had a hard time getting finance policymakers to listen to the case for nature. And then the pandemic happened.

Now, three years later, in his closing remarks at the launch of the new framework of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Mitchell gave those working in the business and finance sectors a stark warning. Ignore the ubiquity of nature at your own risk.

“If you think that stuff is small, or slow, or only affects agricult

Sunak’s net zero U-turn breaks with international opinion

It’s been a big week in the race to net zero. On Monday, 18 September, the world’s climate policymakers descended on New York for a pre-Cop conference warm-up. Running concurrently with the UN General Assembly, Climate Week NYC hosted a range of key figures in the net zero world, including several familiar characters from the UK’s green transition. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the Ofgem chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, and the Tory MP and climate aficionado, Chris Skidmore, all featured a

“It’s not that radical”: the planning reform that will unlock net zero

The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill is in the running to be the most amended piece of draft legislation in parliamentary history.

Nestled within more than 200 proposed changes is an opportunity for the government to address one of the biggest decarbonisation tasks facing the country: ensuring homes and other buildings are energy efficient. About 20 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions come from buildings, and around 15 million homes must be retrofitted by 2030 to meet the UK’s legally bindi

Temporary housing: The human cost of a ‘broken’ system

LGC investigates why more councils are being forced to place people in short-term accommodation

Housing is a human right. But take one look at the situation in England today and you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

One in 50 people in our capital city is homeless with some workers forced to pay 50% of their monthly salary on rent. Across the country damp and mould have plagued private rented sector and social housing stock, with a decreasing number of people even able to get a place in a

MPs grill energy bosses: “How do you sleep at night?”

Welcome to the Parliament Brief, where Spotlight, the New Statesman’s policy section, digests the latest and most important committee sessions taking place across the House of Commons and House of Lords. More editions here.

Who? The Commons’ Energy Security and Net Zero Committee.

In the first half of the session, MPs heard from: Adam Scorer, the chief executive of National Energy Action, Gillian Cooper, the head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, Simon Francis, the coordinator at the End Fu

Murky waters: what comes next for nutrient neutrality?

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust was supposed to welcome a visit from the Levelling-Up Secretary last Wednesday (30 August). But Michael Gove’s team cancelled the trip five days earlier.

According to a post on X (formerly Twitter), by the trust’s chief executive Debbie Tann, Gove had been invited to see the work it has been doing around nutrient pollution in the Solent river earlier this year. But on Friday evening (1 September), Tann was informed the secretary of state wouldn’t b

The new shadow environment secretary faces a “key test for Labour”

A heated battle over nutrient neutrality awaits the new shadow environment secretary. Steve Reed, formerly shadow justice secretary and lord chancellor, took up the brief from his predecessor, Jim McMahon, on Monday, one of many reallocations in Keir Starmer’s wide-reaching reshuffle.

The MP for Croydon North began his career in politics as a councillor in Lambeth, eventually rising up the ranks to become the council’s leader. He joined the Commons in 2012, and since then has hardly spoken abou

The one that got away: what to expect from Claire Coutinho

In its current incarnation, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has been operating for just over six months. Yet, the department is already on its second secretary of state.

As Grant Shapps was whisked away on Thursday morning (31 August) to take charge of the Ministry of Defence, it was announced that the children’s minister, Claire Coutinho, would be taking up the energy brief, leaving the Department for Education (DfE) after less than a year in the role.

Yesterday’s mini

EXCLUSIVE: Scale of Woking’s inter-authority borrowing revealed

Local authorities lent Woking BC £40m since it said it was in “section 114 territory” - with two loans taking place after the notice was issued, LGC can reveal

Data obtained via a freedom of information request and shared exclusively with LGC shows Woking has borrowed more than a quarter of a billion bounds in just over 18 months, with a third of this amount still outstanding.

The data, obtained by local government expert Jack Shaw, shows that since November 2021 the council has borrowed £280m

Long read: Is Oflog’s social care data fair on councils?

What does Oflog mean for the regulation of adult social care? Senior reporter Megan Kenyon investigates.

In July, after much anticipation, levelling up secretary Michael Gove launched the shiny new Office for Local Government, accompanied by a new local authority data explorer.

The explorer has been set up to allow residents, councillors and government officials to assess the performance of local authorities in four key areas: adult skills, waste collection, finance and adult social care.


Planning supersquad must ‘build capacity locally’

The government’s new planning ‘supersquad’ must work to “build capacity locally”, a senior figure in the planning sector has said.

On Monday (24 July), levelling up secretary Michael Gove, announced that the government would look to increase capacity in the planning system in order to increase housebuilding.

To do this, the government has said it will create a £24m planning skills fund to “bust” the planning backlog and set up a new supersquad of planners which will move around the country, st

‘Change is necessary’ to clear audit backlog, says minister

Auditors will still be expected to value assets such as roads, bridges, and schools under the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ plans to clear the audit backlog, the local government minister has told LGC.

Speaking to LGC at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Local Government summer reception, Lee Rowley said: “We want to talk to the sector over the coming weeks ahead, to try and find a way which balances the need to make sure that we are auditing councils to the extent tha

Exclusive: PM’s council in the dark over asylum seeker placement

The prime minister’s council is 'no clearer' over the use of a military barracks in his constituency to house asylum seekers than when the plans were first announced.

In March, immigration minister, Robert Jenrick announced Catterick Garrison in Rishi Sunak’s Richmond (North Yorks) constituency, would be among several bases used as accommodation for asylum seekers currently residing in hotels.

In his announcement Mr Jenrick said the prime minister was "showing leadership" in "bringing forward
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