Sebastian Payne Keynote Speaker

  • Director of the think tank "Onward' - author of 'The Fall of Boris Johnson: The Full Story'
  • Analyst, broadcaster and commentator on UK politics
  • Former Whitehall correspondent and columnist, Financial Times

Sebastian Payne's Biography

Sebastian Payne is the Director of the think tank Onward.   He is the author of two books – “Broken Heartlands, a Journey Through Labour’s Lost England, a The Times’ Political Book of the Year for 2021.  His second book is ‘The Fall of Boris Johnson: The Full Story‘.  Given his first hand knowledge of the events and how key decisions were made, he outlines the miscalculations and mistakes that led to Boris’s downfall.

Sebastian presented the Payne’s Politics podcast, which was shortlisted for ‘News Podcast of the Year’ at the 2020 National Press Awards.

Previously,  Sebastian was the Whitehall correspondent for the Financial Times. In this role he reported and analysed British politics and policy, specialising in the Conservative party, Brexit and foreign policy. He wrote a regular column for the opinion pages about politics outside of Westminster and presents the weekly FT Politics podcast.  At the FT he worked also 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.

Sebastian was named one of the most influential journalists in London by the Evening Standard and specialised on the North-South divide in British politics

In 2014, he was the 35th Lawrence Stern fellow at the Washington Post, reporting the U.S. midterm elections.

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

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.

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Sebastian Payne's Speaking Topics

Current and future political landscape of UK Politics

British policy & the Treasury and civil service

Wider British political trends including the rise of populism and nationalism

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Videos of Sebastian Payne

Brexit: is a snap election part of Boris Johnson's strategy?
Brexit: is a snap election part of Boris Johnson's strategy?
Why do we have youth apathy to voting?
Why do we have youth apathy to voting?
One punch in British politics... | Sebastian Payne | TEDxDurhamUniversity
One punch in British politics... | Sebastian Payne | TEDxDurhamUniversity

Books by Sebastian Payne

The Fall of Boris Johnson: The Full Story
Broken Heartlands: A Journey Through Labour's Lost England

Comments & Testimonials

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

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