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IMPRESS pays tribute to its patron Sir Harry Evans, who has died aged 92

Champion of public interest investigative journalism and supporter of more effective press regulation Sir Harold Evans has died in New York aged 92.

A fierce critic of political interference in journalism, Sir Harry began his career in local journalism and made his name as Editor of The Sunday Times and The Times from 1967 to 1981. During this time, he uncovered stories like the thalidomide scandal and helped to secure compensation from drugs companies for the thousands of families that were affected.

Sir Harry was a great supporter of IMPRESS. He opened its Blackfriars office in 2017, where the main conference room is named after him. Talking to Press Gazette at the time, he described the Royal Charter on self-regulation of the press, under which IMPRESS is the only officially approved regulator, as a “tremendous impetus and safeguard for investigative journalism, as well as being the protection for those people who suffer the consequences of something purporting to be investigative journalism which was really persecution of personal grief”.

IMPRESS Chief Executive Officer, Ed Procter, said: “Sir Harold Evans was a remarkable man who understood the role that regulation plays in protecting the freedom and integrity of investigative journalism. He’ll be missed but his legacy lives on”.

IMPRESS founder, Jonathan Heawood, said: ‘Sir Harry was a mentor and an inspiration to me, and a crucial supporter at the time of founding IMPRESS. His fierce moral convictions were blended with a warm humanity, and a relentless curiosity that made him interested in everything and everyone. I will miss him very much.’