The dramatic political effect of Shadow Chancellor George Osborne’s inheritance tax announcement has been recognised today by The Spectator’s annual parliamentary awards.  Mr Osborne has been made politician of the year for what Fraser Nelson, the magazine’s Political Editor, believes was "the single most effective policy ever announced by the Conservatives in Opposition".

William Hague is also recognised.  His speech on the anniversary of the abolition of slavery wins him the speech of the year award.  BritainAndAmerica covered it at the time.  It was a great speech.

Baroness Thatcher is Peer of the Year.  The Spectator have recognised the year in which everyone wanted to be seen with the Iron Lady… most notably Gordon Brown but also Rudy Giuliani.  Her impact on Britain still recognised as profound.

Iain Duncan Smith’s remarkable political rehabilitation has also been recognised by The Spectator.  The former Tory leader is the magazine’s Campaigner of the year for his success at putting social justice at the heart of the public debate.  I’m in Washington DC with Philippa Stroud and Cameron Watt of the Centre for Social Justice for a conference on poverty-fighting.  We’ll raise a glass of bubbly to Iain later.

Other award winners:

  • Nick Clegg, newcomer
  • Liam Byrne, minister to watch
  • Alex Salmond, parliamentarian of the year
  • Tony Blair, resignation of the year
  • Ian Paisley, "marathon man"!

Related link: Last year’s Spectator awards

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