A lack of funding has forced the cancellation of the Picture Editors? Awards, a competition that has honoured the work of the UK and Ireland?s top photojournalists for the past 14 years.

Press photographers heard the shock news this morning via an email from the Picture Editors? Awards chairman Glyn Genin. It said: ?Despite our best efforts, it has not been possible to raise sufficient funding to allow the awards to go forward into 2007.

?The Picture Editors’ Awards were founded more than 14 years ago, and we are grateful to all the photographers, picture editors and sponsors for their support and hard work over the years. Special thanks are due to the City of London and Fujifilm, unfailing friends since the awards were first planned, and whose sponsorship would have continued into this year.?

Genin said that the awards? website will continue, ?at least for the time being?, to provide an ?online showcase for photographic journalism?.

The competition was set up by a group of newspaper picture editors in 1993, setting what organisers said was a ?benchmark against which editorial photography is judged?.

Each year the awards climaxes with a glitzy ceremony at London?s Guildhall. Its high-profile guest presenters have included Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The awards? judging panel was made up of picture editors nationwide.

Its website can be found at https://pictureawards.co.uk