The shortlists for the inaugural “Civility in Politics” Awards are announced today. (Weds Feb 26th)  
The Awards aim to shine a spotlight on people working in politics who have shown the possibility for civil, thoughtful and reflective public debate that reaches across political divides. They were devised in 2019 by a cross-party (and ‘cross-Brexit’) group committed to fighting the drift towards increasing belligerence and bitterness in our country’s political discourse.

A panel of distinguished judges and advisers from across the political spectrum was brought together to create a shortlist from the candidates nominated.  The shortlists are:
1: Politician of the Year

  • Alison Thewliss (SNP MP)
  • Andrea Leadsom (Cons MP)
  • Catherine West (Lab MP)
  • David Melding (Cons AM)
  • Floella Benjamin (Lib Dem peer)
  • Ken Clarke (Cons MP)
  • Kit Malthouse (Cons MP)
  • Nicholas Pope (TWA Councillor, Tunbridge Wells)
  • Norman Lamb (Lib Dem MP)
  • Rory Stewart (Independent MP)
  • Steve Baker (Cons MP)

2: Bridge Builders of the Year

  • George Freeman and Baroness Sally Morgan (Big Tent Ideas Festival)
  • Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith (“For The Many” Podcast) 

3: Campaigner or Influencer of the Year 

  • Anand Menon (Director UK&EU Centre)
  • Dylan Quinn (Northern Irish campaigner)
  • Jo Cox Foundation (NGO) 
  • John Smith Centre for Public Service (Scotland)
  • Nigel Smith (Scottish campaigner – posthumous)
  • Reclaim (NGO based in Manchester) 
  • Sunder Katwala (Director British Future)

4. Best parody account

  • Simon Hedges (campaigner)*

*New category created to reflect the best parody account. Fair play Simon.

You can find out more about the awards on our FAQ page.


A set of awards celebrating politicians who behave with courtesy and decency to one another is launched today: the Civility in Politics Awards (CiP).

In the past few years, Britain has become dangerously characterised by growing divisions in the wake of the Brexit debate.  British politics has reflected these unwelcome trends, but we believe politicians have a particular responsibility to resist the drive towards belligerent tribalism.

So, a group has come together to try to show that there can be reward and acclaim for thoughtful, reflective public debate that reaches across the aisle and seeks to improve our civil discourse. 

Our goal is to launch a new annual award, with three prizes given to political figures who demonstrate different aspects of civility:

1.     Politician of the Year

2.     Bridge-Builders of the Year

3.     Campaigner of the Year

Nominations will open this weekend a shortlist will be announced in January with awards in March 2020.

A £3000 prize that will be donated to a charity within the constituency of, and nominated by the winning Politician of the Year.

The CiP Steering Group and Judges come from a cross (and no) party background, with a broad range of views on Brexit both during the referendum and since. Everyone involved is donating their time in kind.


·       Norman Lamb MP – Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee and Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk

·       Gawain Towler – Director of Communications, Brexit Party

·       David Willetts – Conservative Member of the House of Lords. Previously MP for Havant (1997 – 2015) and Minister for Science and Innovation (2010 -14).

·       Sue Tibballs OBE – CEO Sheila McKechnie Foundation

·       Catherine Anderson – CEO Jo Cox Foundation 

·       Delyth Jewell AM – Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for South Wales East

·       Baroness Sayeeda Warsi – Conservative Peer, Former Government Minister

·       Isabel Hardman – Assistant Editor, The Spectator, author ‘Why We Get the Wrong Politicians’

·       Quintin Oliver – Founder Stratagem International, Campaign Manager for the Yes Campaign in the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement.

·       Sarah Wollaston – Liberal Democrat MP for Totnes, Chair of the Liaison and Health Select Committees.

·       Stephen Gethins MP – SNP MP for North East Fife

·       Shailesh Vara MP – Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire. Former Government Minister

Steering Group:

The steering committee have helped to devise the awards and bring people together. They will also sit on the judging panel.

·       Lord Stewart Wood – Labour Peer, former Shadow Cabinet Minister, Special Adviser to Gordon Brown (2007 – 2010), Fellow in Practice, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford

·       Helen Mayer – Communications Director #standupforbrexit, Head of Development Vote Leave (2015 -16)

·       Alison Goldsworthy – CEO The Depolarization Project, Vice Chair Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. Deputy Chair Liberal Democrats (2011 -14)

·       Natascha Engel – Labour MP for NE Derbyshire (2005 -17), Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons (2015 – 17)

·       Michael Crick – Broadcaster, journalist and author. Previously Political Editor, Newsnight and Political Correspondent Channel 4 News

The Civility in Politics awards are sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust