Leighton has written for an extensive range of publications in both print and digital format, including the Guardian, the Irish TimesNew Statesman, Times Higher Education Supplement, the Western Mail, the New EuropeanAgenda, ClickonWales, and many others.

He has written several peer-reviewed academic articles: on broadcasting policy in Media, Culture and Society, Cyfrwng and in The Public Affairs Handbookand on political communication in the European Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Public Affairs. A full list of his academic papers and articles can be found on Researchgate.

He has written on devolution and identity for books including The Blair Agenda, Gordon Brown: the Bard of Britishness and Welsh Politics comes of Age: Responses to the Richard Commission and The Road to the National Assembly for Wales

He has lectured widely on a range of subjects from public service reform to education and the media and political communication.

Leighton is the author of two books so far:

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Ministering to Education is the first book written by a former Welsh Government Minister on their experience in office. You can read more here. Leighton’s blog about some of the background to the book can be found here.

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Leighton has been actively involved in the Welsh devolution project since returning to Wales to live in 1996. He co-founded the all-party Yes for Wales campaign in 1996, and convened the steering committee for the Yes campaign in the 2011 referendum. Wales Says Yes is his account of the 1997 referendum campaign.