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Parliamentarian of Year awards 2013: the winners (with audio)

7 November 2013

Today, the Spectator hosted our 27th Parliamentarian of the Year awards at the Savoy Hotel in London in an austerity-free ceremony to give gongs (and replica Spectator covers) to those who had fought the good fight. And some who’d fought a bad one, but annoyingly well. Boris Johnson, our former editor, was handing out the gongs.

Below are the winners, and the judges’ verdict.

Newcomer of the Year: Tristram Hunt
Hunt has made quite the impression since he joined the Labour bench just over a month ago — building bridges with the ‘yummy mummies’, backing parent-led academies, while being tipped as a future party leader. As Fraser said in his speech, if Hunt changes his name to Terry, you’ll know he’s believing the hype.

Campaigner of the Year: Robert Halfon
Instead of hugging a husky, Halfon has been trying to hug a McCluskey this year; attempting to repair the relationship between the Tories and the Unions. His fuel duty campaign cost the Treasury £1 billion, as well as his campaigns for apprenticeships, free school meals for college pupils and justice for Kurdistan.

Peer of the Year: Tina Stowell
Entering politics at the age of 18, Stowell managed to use her know-how to steer gay marriage through the House of Lords with charm, persuasion, steel and apparent ease.

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Backbencher the Year: Charlotte Leslie
Leslie took on the NHS establishment over the Francis Report when even the government was afraid to. She used FOI requests and every parliamentary device at her disposal to claim her scalp and showed the Tory party how it’s done.

Parliamentary Speech of the Year: Mike Freer
Freer made one of the most moving, personal and potent speeches in the house this year over equal marriage. ‘This isn’t about a tax break or legal protection’, he said. ‘This is who I love and this is who I am.’

Minister of the Year: Michael Fallon
Fallon was sent into the Department of Business to make sure Vince Cable didn’t press the nuclear button, but he has launched a war on solar subsidies while his latest success (the Royal Mail sell-off) is something even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare attempt.

Political speech of the year: Ed Miliband
The Labour leader’s speech at conference this year was a political game-changer. Gone was the chin-stroking talk of pre-distribution, predators and producers. His simple, crude, and devastating offer to freeze energy bills threw the government into a funk it has yet to recover from.

Comeback of the year: Sir John Major
The former Prime Minister bowled a googly at Westminster – and David Cameron – at a press lunch just two weeks ago, with his call for a windfall tax on energy firms. The grey man is back, and he’s bought headline-making sound bites with him.

Insurgent of the year: Nigel Farage
Despite the fact that his only Westminster seat is in the Westminster Arms, Farage has remained a universal irritant — menacing the Tories in the south, Labour in the north, the Liberal Democrats in the south west and everyone in Brussels. And still, no one has figured out how to fight him.

Politician of the year: Theresa May
May’s record as Home Secretary is unquestionable: crime down, immigration down, the Home Office budget down…and Yvette Cooper’s leadership ambitions down. She’s now the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Tory leader.

Parliamentarians of the Year: the glorious 15
The first time this award has not gone to a single person. Our Parliamentarians of 2013 are those who went through the ‘no’ lobby to prove that our ancient tradition of press freedom is not abolished without a fight:

  1. Richard Bacon
  2. Christopher Chope
  3. Tracey Crouch (Con)
  4. Nick de Bois
  5. Philip Davies
  6. Richard Drax
  7. Nigel Mills
  8. Andrew Percy
  9. Mark Reckless
  10. John Redwood
  11. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  12. Andrew Turner
  13. Martin Vickers
  14. Charles Walker
  15. Sarah Wollaston

And here’s acceptance speeches from Charles Walker and Tracey Crouch:-

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Show comments
  • HookesLaw

    ‘his latest success (the Royal Mail sell-off) is something even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare attempt.’ — oh come on, don’t y’ know the tories are a bunch of useless socialists?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …well, you and the Camerluvvies are, for sure.

  • Ricky Strong

    Yes; Miliaband made such great speech by announcing he would freeze energy prices he gave all companies a heads up. Well bloody done, have an award. Was he taking advice off Gordon Brown(s bottom) when he thought of that one?

    • arnoldo87

      Of course if Miliband hadn’t made the speech the energy companies would have frozen their prices themselves, just like they do every year.

  • dalai guevara

    The Prize for the Policy of the Year goes to the Security and Justice Act 2013, unlike some might believe with the Politician of the Year at its heart.

    Lord Almighty, please help us. We have sinned.

    • neotelemachus

      See you are the only Idiot on duty today number 3. Did you get an exeat from Idiot school? Craphat.

      • dalai guevara

        I have served, piper – unlike you as a leader, not a vassal.
        Now I post as Dalai Guevara, not Sancho Panzer, fighting the anti-ethics and renewables loons like you.
        Perhaps, one day, I will reconsider that option.

        • neotelemachus

          Sancho Panzer? Wasn’t he that Mexican-German tank general who insisted on wearing a sombrero? Craphat.

          • dalai guevara

            Perhaps it was, perhaps it’s a comic book legend, perhaps it’s Michael Portillo checking up properly on his ancestry. Who knows.

            Tanks against the anti-ethics and anti-renewables lobby, opposing the fighters of windmills, defending the defender of Green and ethical faith, our future King.
            Who on this earth knows?

            • the viceroy’s gin

              I think all sensible know you’re a socialist nutter .

              • dalai guevara

                You are making fun of the future Heir to the Throne now?
                He will knock sense back into you: ethics, love for the land, sustaining a prosperous future backed by local renewable sources leading to higher standards.
                Be very careful what you say now, if you dare at all.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  To clarify, you’re a socialist nutter on narcotics.

                • dalai guevara

                  Checkmate, tovarishch. You are checkmate. This is quite clear, for everyone to see again today. And one hand is still tied behind my back.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  To re-clarify, you’re a socialist nutter, on narcotics, who the authorities have tied up in restraints.

  • realfish

    Since when did a contrived, vacuous, Canute-like misrepresentation qualify as the political speech of the year?

    No doubt Miliband will be bragging about this, in that self-satisfied way that he has, at the next PMQs

    • HookesLaw

      Newcomer of the year – Tristram Hunt. Hillarious.

      But the group award to Parliamentarian of the Year shows the self serving nature of the Spectator.

      • dalai guevara

        Hillaryous, surely.

      • Makroon

        Well, in the spirit of “everyone a winner”, they had to give something to the Brown gang, didn’t they ? At least the Balls couple were conspicuous by their absence.

  • Austin Barry

    This kind of chummy, arch, almost collegial relationship with the Ruling Elite should be beyond the remit of an objective political journal.

    The Speccie should be observing the squalid cavortings of these self-regarding, smug, onanistic gangsters* with ironic detachment, cynicism and measured scorn.

    (*Farage is an honourable exception.)

    Next year, let’s have a Most Disastrous Parliamentarian of the Year Award (with lifetime achievement awards going to Blair and Brown).

    • dalai guevara

      Why? They ended single glazing and chippy dinners in the regions. They deserve any medal they can get.

      Today, all we’re doing is talking, whilst reverting to nuclear (ha! the old style stuff, not the modern equivalent), paying state subsidies in Grangemouth to the profiteer from d’Azur and chippy diners, I am afraid to confirm, are on the up again up ‘ere.

    • Rockin Ron

      I agree. At events like this, The Spectator reveals its true colours. It is embedded with the Ruling Elite and therefore not qualified or able to exercise its critical faculties. The current Editor is a notable offender.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘Political Lie of the Year — Ed Miliband.’

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …tied with Call Me Dave, obviously.

    • Makroon

      These days journos are just obsessed with show-buiz, celebs, luvvies and tawdry “awards”. Fraser Nelson is certainly a great editor in the spirit of the age.

    • cambridgeelephant

      Well said ! Totally agree !

  • intelligentagri

    I am yet to see a picture of ed miliband that doesn’t make me shudder however, this catalogue pose is not as bad as most – well done

    • dalai guevara

      “Blue Steel” Farage did not catch your eye?

  • Colonel Mustard

    How odd. I simply cannot imagine the Guardian voting a Tory for “anything” of the Year (in a positive light) but would be most happy to be proved wrong.

    • Makroon

      But the Speccy lot consider themselves ‘much better than that’.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Nigel Farage hands down. Check YouTube
    “Nigel Farage: Rips EU President Herman van Rompuy” a new asshole one tempted to add.

    • Makroon

      Making fun of Herman is just cowardice.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        You mean telling telling Herman to his face: “You have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk.”
        Have you noticed how much those two lightweights that current head the EU resemble the two farming hicks in that Norman Rockwell painting?
        But hey, thanks for the second bite of the cherry opportunity.

  • swatnan

    I see Nadine Dorries doesn’t appear anywhere.Why?

    • neotelemachus

      Because anyone who thinks self-server Nad is an effective Parliamentarian probably also Stephen Fry is clever.

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