The Daily Telegraph was today named political publication of the year by the Political Studies Association as coverage of the scandal surrounding MPs expenses was reflected in the prize-giving.
The Telegraph Media Group daily was the unanimous choice for the prize, the PSA said today, after it drew attention to the systematic abuse of the taxpayer-funded expenses system by a significant number of MPs.
Judges said their decision to award Heather Brooke a influencing the political agenda prize was related to the Telegraph’s unveiling of the expenses scandal.
The PSA praised Brooke’s campaign to use the Freedom of Information Act to bring details of MPs’ expenses to light.
Joanna Lumley was also presented with an influencing the political agenda award with judges praising her ‘outstandingly effective’campaign on behalf of the Gurkha pensioners’ right to settle in Britain.
BBC2’s Newsnight was named political programme of the year and the corporation picked up a second prize as Robert Peston was chosen as political journalist of the year.
Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe was honoured with an award for best political satire in recognition of his distinctive and iconic depictions of politics in a career spanning nearly 50 years. Jon Stewart and the Daily Show were also acknowledged for best political satire.
For the first time in eight years, the PSA decided not to give an award for politician of the year. However, politicians were not left out entirely.
Rhodri Morgan, First Minister for Wales and the Reverend Ian Paisley, First Minister in Northern Ireland’s power sharing government until 2008, were both recognised for their long and influential political careers.
Dr Tony Wright MP was unanimously chosen as parliamentarian of the year for his achievements as chair of the Public Administration Select Committee. David Davis MP was also unanimously chosen as backbencher of the year
Professor Robert Hazell has been awarded this year’s political studies communication prize as Professor Richard Rose was unanimously selected for the Sir Isaiah Berlin prize for lifetime contribution to political studies.
Academic awards were also given to Professor Alice Brown and Professor David Denver, with the international politician of the year award going to US president Barack Obama.
The Political Studies Association UK is an organisation comprised of 1,700 professors, lecturers, postgraduates, researchers and teachers of politics.
The judging panel for the awards was chaired by Professor Randall and included Lord Parekh, Polly Toynbee, Professor John Benyon, Professor John Curtice, Professor Wyn Jones and Professor Michael Moran.