Friday 28 October 2016

Tory dominance of top awards at Scottish Politician of the Year

A Perthshire MP led a Twitter backlash against perceived bias against the SNP at the Scottish Politician of the Year awards. Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservatives leader, took the main prize and was crowned debater of the year at Thursday night’s annual awards bash.Her colleague David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary and the sole Tory MP north of the border, won the coveted Best Scot at
Westminster. Of the 10 gongs handed out to politicians, rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing was the only Nationalist to take one home – the Politics in Business award.

That provoked outcry from some quarters. The SNP’s Pete Wishart, who represents Perth and North Perthshire at Westminster, said during the event he must be living in a “parallel political universe”.He tweeted: “Congratulations to all these SNP winners of Scottish Politician of the year awards this year. All one of them…. #SPOTY2016”

Earlier, he posted: “2 out of 2 awards to Scots Tories at Scottish Politician of the year. They must be some party…..”

But David Leask, the chief reporter at The Herald, which hosts the awards ceremony, hit back at accusations of bias.

He tweeted: “So in 17 years of Politician of the Year, the final tally is: SNP 10, Lab 6, Libs 1 & Tories 1. But it’s biased to Tories? Erm….”

The judging panel includes Herald staff, as well as journalists from other media and business figures.

Ms Davidson lifted the Scottish Conservatives above Labour in May’s Holyrood elections and was seen by many as a strong performer in the failed campaign to keep the UK in the EU.

Former Fife MP and Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell was handed the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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