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Journalist wins Orwell prize for investigative journalism

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Andrew Norfolk, a journalist at The Times, has jointly won the Orwell prize for journalism alongside Tom Bergin from Reuters. Andrew won the accolade based on his investigation into the sexual abuse of girls at care homes in Rochdale and beyond.

Andrew has been fearless in exposing the activities of evil men preying on extremely vulnerable children. He has also exposed the negligence and incompetence of the agencies whose task is to protect the vulnerable in society.

The issues of sexual abuse of children and domestic abuse of women were tackled openly in the 1970s for the first time. But these issues have not gone away.

Over the last 40 years we have developed legal remedies to protect the vulnerable and a legal aid system to allow those in need access to justice. The present Government has introduced brutal cuts to legal aid which have removed that protection by reducing access to justice. Funding to agencies supporting the vulnerable has been slashed.

If the test of a civilised society is how well do we treat the weakest and most vulnerable members then this Government will go down as on of the worst in recent history.

By managing partner of family law department, Mike Devlin