Reuters photographer Jeff Mitchell has won the award for the best press photographer in a competition that rewards the cream in photographic journalism throughout the UK and Ireland.

Jeff was crowned BG Group Photographer of the Year in the annual Picture Editors? Awards, a contest judged by newspaper picture editors across the British Isles.

Jeff?s portfolio beat 9,000 other images, earning him the top prize of £4,000 cash. His entry included a Christmas tree grower (pictured) preparing to cut down trees in Angus, Scotland in November last year.

This was the second time that Jeff has taken the title and he has twice been named Sports Photographer of the Year.

His colleague at Reuters, Toby Melville, scooped this year?s Nikon Sports Photographer of the Year accolade and Young Photographer of the Year was named as Kieran Dodds.

The awards were presented by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown who told a packed audience of press photographers at London?s Guildhall: ?It is through your pictures, your images that we see the world ? and that we take for granted day in, day out? without you, news and newspapers would not only be far duller ? but far less effective in what they do??

To see more pictures and details of other winners in this year?s awards keep an eye out for upcoming issues of AP.