John Kay (journalist)

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John Kay (born 1944) is a British journalist who worked for The Sun newspaper for several decades.

Educated at St Peter's School, York public school,[1] Kay worked for The Sun newspaper from 1974, initially as a general reporter, then as industrial editor.[1] He was appointed the publication's chief reporter in 1990. Twice named 'Reporter of the Year' in the British Press Awards, a Press Gazette feature in November 2005 identified him as the sixteenth most influential British journalist since the war.[2]

It was reported in November 2008 that Kay had been persuaded to continue working on The Sun past retirement on a full-time freelance basis but on the same salary as before.[3]

In February 2012, Kay was reported to be one of eight people arrested as part of the Operation Elveden investigation into alleged bribes to police and civil servants.[4] Kay was cleared at the Old Bailey in March 2015 of paying a total of £100,000 over a decade to a Ministry of Defence member of staff for assistance on stories relating to the army.[5] The Sun though, did pay the money to his source, Bettina Jordan-Barber, who was jailed for 12 months in January for misconduct in public office.[6] Kay has now left The Sun and retired.[7]

In 1977, Kay was convicted of the manslaughter of his wife, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie Stick It Up Your Punter!: The Uncut Story of the "Sun" Newspaper, Pocket Books, 1999, p.69-71
  2. ^ "Press Gazette names top forty journalists of the modern era", Archived 17 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Press Gazette, 25 November 2005. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
  3. ^ 'Axegrinder' "Sun chief reporter John Kay proves that some journalists ARE indispensable" Archived 11 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine., Press Gazette (blog), 27 November 2008
  4. ^ "Eight people held over payments inquiry". BBC News website. 11 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Lisa O'Carroll "Four senior Sun journalists acquitted over payments to officials", The Guardian, 20 March 2015
  6. ^ Lisa O'Carroll "MoD 'mole' Bettina Jordan-Barber jailed over Sun leaks", The Guardian, 20 March 2015
  7. ^ Greenslade, Roy (3 September 2015). "What has happened to the 28 arrested Sun journalists?". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2015.