Jonathan Isaby’s pick: I am making my award not for one particular gaffe, but rather am presenting it to 2008’s gaffemaker-in-chief, Nick Clegg, who has managed to put his foot in it on three memorable occasions during the year. First there was that GQ interview with Piers Morgan, in which the Lib Dem leader admitted to having slept with "no more than thirty" women. This earned him the tabloid nickname Nick Cleggover and has made him open to mockery in the Commons ever since. Then there was the moment when he appeared on a television phone-in programme during his party conference and was asked the level of the weekly state pension. "I think it’s about thirty quid now, isn’t it?" he said – only to be told it was actually more than three times that amount.
And most recently he was daft enough to spend an entire 90-minute plane journey from Gatwick to Inverness discussing the shortcomings of his frontbench team with his chief of staff, Danny Alexander – in full earshot of a Mirror journalist. The hack took copious notes and helpfully shared all Clegg’s opinions with the paper’s readers, leaving Clegg to spend an uncomfortable day on the phone apologising to his colleagues.
Tim Montgomerie’s pick: It has to be Brown’s ‘we not only saved the world’ gaffe at PMQs. CrownBlog had it up on YouTube within minutes. It was funny, of course, but it also pointed to the fact that Brown seemed to be the only person in Britain (excepting debt collectors) who was enjoying the worst recession in the developed world – a point made musically by this ConHome video. During 2009 we’ll learn that Red Gordon couldn’t even save Britain, let alone the world.