Holyrood Garden Party and Political Awards 2022

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A week may be a long time in politics, but then during the last couple of years, time itself has taken on a whole new dynamic.


Thank you to everyone who came together to make Holyrood Garden Party and Political Awards 2022 such an enormous success. Special thanks to our sponsors, nominees and judging panel and huge congratulations to all the well deserving winners.

Read all about our winners on Holyrood.com and check out the photos from the event on our flickr gallery 

People from across the Scottish political landscape came together at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens to celebrate the achievements in what has been a busy year in politics. Former political adviser turned comedian Matt Forde did not disappoint as compare, with some impressionable impressions and a no holes barred interview with Dame Eleanor Laing MP.

The event, which was rescheduled after the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, was a fantastic evening, with 12 awards given out, as well as the lifetime achievement award, which Brian Taylor presented to Professor Sir John Curtice. Absolute silence fell across the erstwhile noisy room when to listen to Brian and Professor Curtice!

Among the winners was Edward Mountain, who won the tweet of the day award for his post that revealed his bowel cancer diagnosis. The political staffer of the year award was presented to the parents of David Hill, a Scottish Conservatives aide who tragically died while playing rugby for the Scottish Parliament’s rugby team in Dublin in March.

We look forward to welcoming you back next year! Please get in touch if you are interested in partnering.

View the full shortlist & winners via the shortlist tab below

Tweet of the Day in association with 8x8

This award will be presented to the MSP who has used Twitter to best effect to be witty, to inform and even to shut down critics. The judges will be looking for eloquence, dignity, humour and grace, and all in the best possible taste.

MSP of the Year in association with Coca Cola Europacific Partners

While awards of this nature tend to always be reserved for the party leaders, there are many talented MSPs who sit squarely behind the leader and help their star shine bright, so nominations for this award should cast the net a little wider than just the usual suspects and answer, ‘who has really shone?’

Political Staffer of the Year in association with Siemens Mobility

Awarded to someone who has demonstrated a real commitment to digging that bit deeper, going the extra mile and unearthing facts, figures and human stories that assist politicians in making good policy or in simply changing one person’s life.

Backbencher of the Year in association with Stromar & Partners

It takes a certain type of MSP to be able to make their presence felt without the natural platform of a frontbench position. Who has made themselves noticed, gone against a conventional party line or simply put forward a point that forcibly cuts through a lot of party-political rhetoric?

One to Watch in associaion with Holyrood Magazine

The May 2021 election saw an enormous turnover in terms of the MSPs now sitting in the parliament for its sixth session. A much more diverse Chamber with new voices and a whole range of life experiences. Who has already made a mark in the debating chamber or gained a reputation in committee and is the one to watch from the 2021 intake?

Political Hero of the Year in association with AB-INBev

Sometimes a cause or a campaign inspires a politician or a group of MSPs to cross party lines or to just work tirelessly to do the right thing. This award will go to an MSP who has gained respect from across the chamber for their work in championing a particular cause or for achieving a tangible result.

Flushable Motion of the Year in association with Scottish Water

Parliamentary motions are used by MSPs as a way to initiate debate or suggest a particular course of action but increasingly have become more and more obtuse vehicles to offer support or endorse a particular product. They go from congratulating a local football team to questioning a reduction in the size of a chocolate bar. This award will recognise the most absurd motions to be lodged.

The Powering Change Award in association with SSE

This award will recognise the real powerhouses of the parliament, its committees. The committees provide a crucial role in bringing expertise to bear on the legislative process and test theories, assumptions, and practice. Which committee or convenor has helped inspire change through the rigorous gathering of evidence and questioning of witnesses?

Speech of the Year in association with Drax

A good speech can silence the chamber, bring a tear to a glass eye and surprise in its ability to capture a moment in time. This award will go to the MSP who has managed to impress with their ability to articulate their views on an issue with passion, intellect and emotion.

Best Scot at Westminster in association with Chivas Brothers

Which parliamentarian has best made the case for Scottish interests at Westminster? Is there an MP that stands out for presenting Scotland in the best light, for pushing a Scottish cause and really standing up for their constituents and the nation?

Open All Hours Award in associaton with Scottish Grocers' Federation

Which MSP gets your vote for going the extra mile to help their constituents, colleagues and staff, whose door is always open and for whom the words ‘business closed’ never feature? This is a parliamentarian who can be relied upon to get a job done and whose tenacity to get a problem fixed knows no bounds.

Green Giant Award in association with Scottish Power

With the First Minister declaring a Climate Emergency and Glasgow being named as the host city for COP26, the fight against climate change raced up the political agenda during the last parliamentary session in Scotland. Which MSP has really embraced the challenge and made a difference to the environment?

Lifetime Achievement Award in association with Royal Bank of Scotland

Awarded to someone who had dedicated their life to Scottish politics and has managed to cut across party-political boundaries to demonstrate a commitment to public service, statecraft and the democratic process. Someone woven into Scotland’s political fabric. (This award will not be open to nominations.)

Tweet of the Day

Murdo Fraser MSP, Scottish Conservative

Winner: Edward Mountain MSP, Scottish Conservative

Humza Yousaf MSP, SNP

MSP of the Year in association with Coca Cola Europacific Partners

Winner: Jackie Baillie MSP, Scottish Labour

Neil Gray MSP, SNP

Liam McArthur MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat

Political Staffer of the Year in association with Siemens Mobility

David Hill

Backbencher of the Year in association with Stromar & Partners

Winner: Fergus Ewing MSP, SNP

Gillian Martin MSP, SNP

Graham Simpson MSP, Scottish Conservative

One to Watch

Meghan Gallacher MSP, Scottish Conservative

Winner: Neil Gray MSP, SNP

Gillian Mackay MSP, Scottish Greens

Political Hero of the Year

Winner: Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, Scottish Labour

Gillian Mackay MSP, Scottish Greens

Trio of:

Jackie Baillie MSP, Scottish Labour

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat

Sandesh Gulhane MSP, Scottish Conservative

Flushable Motion of the Year in association with Scottish Water

Clare Adamson, SNP

Winner: Christine Grahame, SNP

John Mason, SNP 

The Powering Change Award in association with SSE

Winner: Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Public Audit Committee

Stephen Kerr MSP, Scottish Conservative

Speech of the Year in association with Drax

Christine Grahame MSP, SNP

Liam Kerr MSP, Scottish Conservative

Winner: Richard Leonard MSP, Scottish Labour

Best Scot at Westminster in association with Chivas Brothers

Wendy Chamberlain MP, Scottish Liberal Democrat

Stephen Flynn MP, SNP

Winner: Stewart McDonald MP, SNP

Open All Hours Award in associaton with Scottish Grocers' Federation

Jackie Baillie MSP, Scottish Labour

Winner: Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat

Kenneth Gibson MSP, SNP

Green Giant Award in association with Scottish Power

Sarah Boyack MSP, Scottish Labour

Winner: Maurice Golden MSP, Scottish Conservative

Michael Matheson MSP, SNP

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