At an award ceremony on 8 December 2021, Blueprint for Free Speech awarded the 2021 UK whistleblowing prize to three whistleblowers who lifted the lid on British American Tobacco’s dirty tricks in Africa.
Leaked documents from the whistleblowers contributed to a joint investigation between the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, BBC Panorama and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which culminated in a series of reports, podcasts and a BBC documentary.
The awards recognise the bravery and integrity of whistleblowers who have made a positive impact in the public interest and spotlight individuals who have exposed corruption, political collusion, and professional misconduct.
Speaking about the award, Andy Rowell from the Tobacco Control Research Group and one of the authors of the reports, said:
The courage and conviction it takes to blow the whistle on any company – not least one of the UK’s top 10 largest companies – is without compare. We applaud these whistleblowers, who were prepared to stand up to a global tobacco giant, and we welcome the news that their bravery is being recognised with this prestigious award.