An awarding winning journalist with extensive print, TV and radio experience especially in investigative journalism
Paul has primarily worked as a UK-based reporter but has also reported on difficult and demanding stories from countries including: Brazil, Cameroon, China, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Israel (West Bank), Italy, Panama, Russia, Taiwan, and the United States.
He was an interviewee on the Kubrick biography released on film: Stanley Kubrick: A Life in pictures. Warner Brothers. 2001. Paul spoke of the prescience and accuracy of Kubrick’s portrayal of American the Cold War nuclear generals in the film.
Lashmar, P and Smith, J. (2020) Wealthy MP urged to pay up for his family’s slave trade past. The Observer. 13 Dec pp1-2
Lashmar, P and Smith, J. (2020). He’s the MP with the Downton Abbey lifestyle. But the shadow of slavery hangs over the gilded life of Richard Drax. The Observer. 13 Dec pp21-22
Lashmar, P., Smith, J and Selby, A. (2020). Tory MP raking in cash from sugar plantation where thousands died during slave trade. Sunday Mirror.13 December pp20-21
Recent Media coverage:
BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed. Interviewed by Laurie Taylor on Italian Mafia in the UK. 20 September 2017. Talking about the UK side of major crime and comparing to Italian Mafia and other organised crime groups.
Last Word. BBC R4. Interviewee on the life of Wing Commander Rex Sanders who flew Operation JuJitsu missions in the Cold War. June 2017
Radio5Live: Through the Night. Interviewed by Rhod Sharp on Mazher Mahmood conviction.
Radio 4 Thinking Allowed. Interviewed by Laurie Taylor on investigations into Blacklisting.
Interviewee on US Cold War airpower policy and operations for ‘Secret Superpower Aircraft’ documentary (1 hr) transmitted by Forces TV. 10.00pm Tuesday 22 November 2016
Sept 01-Jan 2008: Freelance for the Independent on Sunday
Especially on the intelligence side of the ‘war on terror’.
June 98-May 01: Staff investigative writer for The Independent
Responsible for numerous news stories, investigations, features and analysis pieces.
Jan 93- June 98: Freelance TV producer & print journalist
Sept 95-June 98: Development Co-ordinator for Brook Lapping Productions – a leading Independent TV Production Company.
When not producing TV investigations, retained to develop ideas, both others, and mine for television. Worked with the remarkable, but sadly late, Phillip Whitehead.
Jan 1993-June 1998: Also worked for Spitting Image, World in Action and with Duncan Campbell on The Hill (Oct. 93) an investigation into the Menwith Hill spybase for C4’s Dispatches programme.
Sept 89-Dec 92: Reporter, World in Action (Granada) During that period made 12 programmes including The Firm – the investigation into the Queen’s secret tax concessions, which initiated the debate over the Monarch’s financial status. (The Queen agreed to pay income tax in Jan 93).
Other programmes include General Noriega’s CIA links, Death Squad killings of Brazil’s street children, and landlords who abuse social security claimants.
June 78-Sept 89: Investigative journalist, The Observer
During my last eight years at The Observer, David Leigh and I formed the paper’s investigative team and produced a long series of exclusive stories.
In 1986 David and Paul received the UK Press Awards “Reporter of the Year” title primarily for revealing the MI5’s political vetting of BBC staff. Other significant stories included: Mark Thatcher secret lobbying in Oman; The Stalker Affair; Scotland Yard corruption; Nuclear test veteran deaths; Arms to South Africa; MP, John Browne’s secret business interests; The Economic League’s secret blacklist.
He co-wrote with David Leigh the original story of the Spycatcher allegations (1986) that was injuncted by the British Government. In 1991 David and Paul won our case against the Government in the European Court of Human Rights.
Paul separately broke many other exclusive stories including: the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad (1988), racism in the army (1986), extreme right-wing infiltration in the Conservative Party (1983), Boeing jet manufacture faults (1989).
Paul has been publishing in a variety of newspapers, journals and magazines including: The Washington Post, The Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Times, The Independent Magazine, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Times, Esquire, Miami Herald, Harpers, Africa Confidential, Africa Report (US), West Africa, Virgin Inflight Magazine, Private Eye, UK Press Gazette, British Journalism Review, Rough Guides, New Statesman, History Today, BBC History magazine, Aeroplane Monthly, UNESCO, ESRC website and broadcast for BBC Radio 4s From Our Own Correspondent.
Contribution to music Journalism
Paul has written many music articles and reviews, including Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Kinks, Willie Nelson, Loose Tubes. His music articles have been published in a variety of publications including The Observer, The Independent, Esquire, Folk Roots, Straight No Chaser and Global Beat magazine.