UK Politics

Ken Clarke and Baroness Trumpington get Oldie awards

Ken Clarke and Baroness Trumpington
Image caption Ken Clarke and Baroness Trumpington were both cited as good examples for "senior citizens"

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has been named 'Oldie of the year' by a magazine which describes itself as the "antidote to youth culture".

The Conservative MP, who is 72 this year, has been honoured by The Oldie for being a "political survivor" and "his own man" as well one of the biggest characters in politics.

The 89-year old Baroness Trumpington won an award for peer of the year.

She made the news recently after making a two-fingered gesture in the Lords.

The incident occurred after the Conservative peer took exception at remarks by ex-Cabinet minister Lord King suggesting veterans of the World War Two were looking "pretty old".

'Age worn lightly'

The peer, who worked at code-breaking facility Bletchley Park during the war, told the BBC afterwards that she had intended the gesture but she and the former defence secretary remained "jolly good friends".

Mr Clarke follows in the footsteps of the likes of Sir David Attenborough and Joanna Lumley in winning the award.

Broadcaster Jon Snow, one of the judges, said Mr Clarke had been an MP for more than 40 years and a minister for 30 while maintaining a varied range of interests outside politics - including jazz and cigars.

"This year he will be 72, still one of the most characterful men on either front bench. He displays all the characteristics of a cast-iron Oldie: true to his principles, age worn lightly, still in the job long after his work mates have gone.

"He survived Ted Heath, Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Not only is he justifiably and prominently the Oldie of the Year but he is also the political survivor of the year."

Baroness Trumpington also served in government under Margaret Thatcher. The Oldie said her award was in recognition of her being a "stalwart of the old school and robust champion of the senior citizen".

Referring to the exchange with Lord King, it said she had "registered her objection in swift and incontrovertible terms".

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