John Sweeney

journalist and author

John Sweeney is a writer and broadcaster, currently working for BBC Newsnight. His philosophy as a reporter is: ‘I poke crocodiles, if crocodiles they be, in the eye with a stick.’

In 2017 he reported on all the terror attacks in Britain, the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia on Malta. In his January 2018 BBC Newsnight film Malta's Shame?, he followed up Daphne's investigations into money-laundering on the island and put the charge to the island's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat that he was "Europe's Artful Dodger" - an allegation the Prime Minister denied.


During his career at The Observer, then the BBC, Sweeney has helped free seven people falsely accused of killing their babies and reported on wars, revolutions and trouble in 80 countries, but he’s most famous for doing an impression of an exploding tomato while investigating the Church of Scientology.

He is the author of Elephant Moon (his first novel), North Korea Undercover: Inside the World's Most Secret State, Church Of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology, Big Daddy – Lukashenka, The Tyrant of Belarus, Wayne Rooney: Boots of Gold, Purple Homicide, Trading With The Enemy: Britain’s Arming of Iraq and The Life And Evil Times of Nicolae Ceausescu.

His latest book, a novel, is Cold, the tale of how Joe Tiplady, an Irishman in London, comes to be swept up in a tidal wave of violence and retribution. In the feeble light of a London winter, Joe Tiplady walks his dog in the snow. He is not alone. Two men are tracking him, as is a woman with wolf eyes. Soon Joe will find himself caught in a storm of violence and retribution that he does not yet understand.

He is the author of the documentary Trump; the Kremlin Candidate? broadcast on BBC Panorama in January 2017.

Here is a clip from the documentary, in which Donald Trump walks out of a 2013 interview with John in Trump Tower following questions about links with Russian-born gangster Felix Sater.

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Events in past editions