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Sebastian Payne

Sebastian Payne

speaker location icon London, U.K.

Whitehall correspondent and columnist, Financial Times

Regular broadcaster and commentator on UK politics

London's most influential people 2019 – Media: Print & Digital​, by the Evening Standard

“An extremely informative and insightful presentation on British politics delivered with humour. It was a great success.”
Chief Economist at Deloitte LLP

Sebastian Payne is Whitehall correspondent for the Financial Times. In this role he reports and analyses British politics and policy, specialising in the Conservative party, Brexit and foreign policy. He writes a regular column for the opinion pages about politics outside of Westminster and presents the weekly FT Politics podcast.

He appears regularly on the BBC, including Question Time, Newsnight, Any Questions, the Today programme and Politics Live. He is also a frequent paper reviewer for Sky News

At the FT he has worked as political leader writer and an editor on the opinion desk. He was previously an editor at The Spectator magazine and a reporter at The Daily Telegraph. In 2014, he was the 35th Lawrence Stern fellow at the Washington Post, reporting the U.S. midterm elections.

He graduated from Durham University with a BSc in Computer Science and an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University London. He grew up in the north of England and lives in London.

Speaking topics include: 

  • Brexit
  • British politics & the Conservative party
  • British policy & the Treasury and civil service
  • Wider British political trends including the rise of populism and nationalism

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