Scotland politics

Hugh Henry named best Scots politician

Hugh Henry
Image caption The judges awarded Henry for the way he held ministers to account for spending decisions

Hugh Henry has been named Scottish Politician of the Year - the first time a backbencher has won the award.

The Labour member for Paisley South beat his party leader, Iain Gray, as well as Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott to win The Herald award.

He is the convener of the Public Audit Committee, which won the Committee Award for the second year running.

Margo MacDonald MSP got the Political Contribution of the Year gong.

The Independent was recognised for her Member's Bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia.

Mr Henry received the main award of the night during a ceremony at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh.

Judges chose to reward the way the committee, and its convener in particular, have held ministers and civil servants to account for their spending decisions.

Image caption For the second year in a row, Jim Murphy was awarded the best Scot at Westminster award

Best Scot at Westminster for the second year running was Labour's Jim Murphy and there was a special Lifetime Achievement Award for former first minister Jack McConnell.

Jonathan Russell, editor-in-chief of The Herald and Times Group, said: "I am delighted the awards have gone to such worthy winners.

"An undoubted positive to come out of this year's general election was the rekindled interest in politics among the general public, reflected in the improved turnout at the polls.

The Donald Dewar Debater of the Year Award was won by Conservative finance spokesman Derek Brownlee.

In this year's One To Watch category, the winner was Lothians list MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville in recognition of the SNP member's dogged pursuit of the Edinburgh trams project.

Public Campaigner of the Year was awarded to Ann Moulds for efforts to have stalking made a criminal offence, which is now going through as legislation.

The Scottish Local Government Politician of the Year award went to councillor Pat Watters, the president of the council umbrella group the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

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