The Briefing with Tom Harwood
Fri 3rd Mar 2023
My journalistic career was forged in the fires of Brexit battles so when GB News launched, I leapt at the opportunity to join a news organisation dedicated to better understanding and reflecting the country we live in. Being on the front lines of the most remarkable period in recent UK political history has to my mind laid bare the pressing need for GB News.
Before GB News, I worked as a reporter for the Westminster news and gossip website Guido Fawkes, a columnist for several papers including the Telegraph and Daily Mail, as well as popping up on TV with analysis and comment.
Before journalism, I ran a number of campaigns; the student wing of the Vote Leave campaign and a few light hearted ones, for instance against lowering the voting age, and several popular campaigns against the bonkers National Union of Students. There are all too many parallels to draw between the wacky student politicians then and many of the jokers in Parliament today.
What advice (if any) would you give your younger self?
Try everything. Take risks. Be creative. If you have an idea, run with it. Don’t let the voice in the back of your head hold you back.
What makes Great Britain great?
The UK is a country that has always punched above its weight in the world. So much of the world’s language, law, invention, and innovation came from these remarkable islands. Our global perspective, pioneering history, and lasting liberal settlement have set us apart for hundreds of years.
Why is debate and balanced argument important to you?
Without debate and balanced argument, you cannot reach the truth. From the Socratic method developed two and a half thousand years ago to contemporary debate today, the simple truth remains – nothing stimulates critical thinking, understanding, and truth better than an open marketplace of ideas.
What career would you have pursued if it hadn’t been for the newsroom?
If it weren’t for the newsroom, I’d want to be doing something with a similar impact.
Why did you join the GB News family?
It is the kind of place I knew I wanted to work in long before I knew it would one day exist. The GB News family is such a respected, diverse, impressive group of people I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.
Do you have a stand-out moment in your career that has impacted on you?
October 2019. Sitting in the press gallery of the House of Commons with my head in my hands on so-called Super Saturday, as MPs once again voted to block Brexit. Parliament had never been more out of step with the country than its final flourish in holding up the democratic will of the British people.
Your biggest accomplishment outside of work?
Probably the full-sized fibreglass Dalek I built with my dad when I was in primary school.
How would your family describe you?
That really depends which family member you ask!
Most people will be familiar with your work, but tell us something that nobody knows about you?
I know all the lyrics to Hamilton by heart.
Name somebody that you have always wanted to interview? Or debate with? And why?
Elon Musk. I’m totally fascinated by how one person is doing so much to push forward technological frontiers.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love travelling to new places, talking to interesting people, and have a total fascination for space technology. I also love theatres and nightclubs.
What do you love about the UK?
Honestly, everywhere I’ve been in this incredible country feels like home.
I’ve lived in three cities so far, growing up in Cambridge, spending three amazing years in Durham, and moving to London in 2018.
My grandparents come from Yorkshire, Suffolk, Weardale, and Wales (well, Welsh Patagonia), the last of which is often a useful identity to lean into when the rugby is on.