Phil is a freelance journalist, researcher and film producer, who has written stories for the Times, VICE, Private Eye, Irish Times, Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Daily Record, Daily Mirror, i News, Irish News, New Humanist and openDemocracy. He specialises in investigations and his findings have triggered two government inquiries. He has expertise on various subjects including migration, private security/outsourcing and the National Archives.
He has worked as a producer on several documentaries, including Stop the Boats, a film about Australia’s refugee policy, shot in Sydney, Auckland and Kupang (Indonesia). It premiered at the Nuremberg Human Rights film festival in 2017.
He worked as a researcher for Corporate Watch, focusing on private sector involvement in the UK immigration detention and deportation system. His research was featured on Channel 4 News, showing companies saved millions by paying detainees as little as £1 per hour to do essential jobs in detention centres, and secret filming that revealed worsening conditions inside Harmondsworth, Britain’s largest detention centre. He has also covered several inquests into deaths in detention, including the cases of 84-year-old Canadian Alois Dvorzak and US tourist Brian Dalrymple.
Phil has carried out extensive research at the UK National Archives. In 2014, he found newly declassified letters that revealed Margaret Thatcher had sent an SAS officer to advise the Indian Army on raiding the Golden Temple in Amritsar ahead of a massacre of Sikh pilgrims in June 1984. This discovery triggered debates in the British and Indian parliaments, and led Prime Minister David Cameron to order two reviews into the declassification of government documents, by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and by former head of the Joint Intelligence Committee Sir Alex Allan.