The PSA Awards 2018 Awards Brochure is available here

Press release issued at 15:00 27 November 2018 which was embargoed and not for use until 22:00, 27 November 2018

PSA Awards: the public, academics, media, culture and politicians who have shaped an extraordinary year in politics.

  • David Lammy MP awarded Politician of the Year
  • Diana Johnson MP and Dominic Grieve recognised for their contribution to politics.
  • First-ever two people named as Journalist of the Year award: Carole CadwalladrThe Observer, and Amelia GentlemanThe Guardian.
  • Michel Barnier recognised with International Recognition award.


The Political Studies Association (PSA) 17th Annual Awards ceremony held this evening (27 November) in Westminster recognised some of the most inspiring and tireless politicians, campaigners, journalists and individuals who have risen above what has been a tumultuous year in the political arena and brought awareness to paramount causes and irrefutable facts. 

Member of Parliament for Chatham and Aylesford, Tracey Crouch MP, was presented with the Best Use of Evidence award for "openness and scrupulous and effective use of evidence to inform policy decisions" as seen in the Government response to the consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility measures. The judgement of the Panel was strengthened by Crouch's resignation from the Government over concerns regarding implementation of reduced stakes for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. 

Crouch said: "It was important that the decision [to make changes to the Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures] was evidence-based, which is why the review took as long as it did.  It enabled us to discuss the issue with many stakeholders, look through all the evidence and came to a firm policy conclusion.  The team at DCMS were absolutely brilliant and this award is really theirs."  

BBC's Europe Editor, Katya Adler was awarded Broadcaster of the Year for leading coverage on Brexit and the European Union, the migrant crisis, cross-border terror and the rise of populism. She was commended by judges for "enlighten[ing] the public in breaking down complex and high contested issues."

On receiving the award, Adler said: "I’m honoured and also very touched to receive this award. Thank you. Brexit as an issue excites deep-seated emotion in this country, not to mention mountains of political spin. As a broadcaster, it’s one of the most important yet burning hot potato issues I’ve ever « handled ». But at the end of the day, what most people want to know is what does this mean for me and my family? Are we going to be ok? So I try to take a step back from the controversy and noise - in an attempt to put this fast evolving, often confusing process in to perspective. Understanding the EU point of view - including the thinking in individual EU counties - is crucial to us truly “getting” what on earth is going on."

The late Baroness Jowell was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement in Politics Award. The judges recognised Baroness Jowell's legacy which includes an "immense impact across a range of issues and policies, including advancing equal pay, Sure Start, securing the 2012 London Olympics, and campaigning for more cancer treatments to be made available through the NHS." Tessa's daughter Jess Mills accepted the award on her mother's behalf. 

From Northern Ireland, Alliance for Choice was recognised with Campaigners of the Year for its tireless twenty-two year-long campaign for Northern Irish women's rights to free, safe and legal abortions. Their campaign has also included advocating for the end of criminalisation of women for obtaining abortions and the end of harassment of women for using reproductive health services. The judges praised their campaign for "​the galvanising effect it has had on the abortion rights debate in Northern Ireland."

Kellie O'Dowd, co-chair for Alliance for Choice, said: "The Alliance for Choice Campaign has taken women’s reproductive healthcare and placed it firmly at the centre of politics not only in Northern Ireland but with the absence of a functioning Assembly firmly on  the agenda at Westminster. This would not have been possible without our tireless activists and campaigners who helped deliver the unquestionable referendum result in the Republic in May this year. We campaign on abortion rights issues to give voice to the thousands of people who have travelled, who have been stigmatised silenced and shamed. And yet we could not do this work without the many who have bared their souls and shared their grief, trauma and lack of humane healthcare treatment at home. We are delighted to accept this award and pledge to continue our work until we have achieved free safe and legal abortion in Northern Ireland."

Diana Johnson, MP for Kingston upon Hull North, was presented with the PSA's Backbencher of the Year by John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons for her work as a backbencher campaigning for the victims of the NHS contaminated blood scandal resulting in the Infected Blood Inquiry. 

Johnson said: "I will never forget when Glenn Wilkinson, my Hull North Constituent who had been infected by contaminated blood, came to my local advice surgery in 2010 and asked me to help him to fight for justice. That’s where my involvement began.  After many years of campaigning we were fortunate that the Parliamentary arithmetic in the Summer of 2017 provided a unique opportunity to finally get the Government to do the right thing. With the Public Inquiry now underway the fight for truth, justice and proper compensation continues."

Dominic Grieve QC MP was named Parliamentarian of the Year in recognition by the judging panel for "the genuine difference he has made in Westminster regarding the judging process." In the course of 2017-18, Dominic Grieve was responsible for helping bring about the amendments to the EU Withdrawal Act which ensured that the Act could not be used to bring about withdrawal from the EU without there first being a ‘meaningful vote’ in Parliament on any agreement followed by the enactment of further primary legislation. Judges highlighted "the effective and astute way Grieve has used the parliamentary route and procedure."

For the first time, the PSA judging panel chose to recognise two individuals for Journalist of the Year for their equally outstanding work in journalism. FromThe Observer, Carole Cadwalladr was commended by judges for her persistence and resilience in pursuing investigative journalism in the public interest and ensuring that personal data and funding and their role in political events remains a subject of public discussion.

While she was unable to accept the award in person, Cadwalladr said about her work which earned her this recognition: "It's clear that journalists are on the front line in the battle to defend the institutions that are under attack all over the world. Trump has fuelled an assault on facts, truth and evidence-based reporting that is being aped by "populists" around the world including in Britain. What's become apparent during our reporting of this story, is how many individuals and organisations are beyond the rule of law and pose an existential risk to our democracy. Facebook's ongoing refusal to answer questions first to journalists and now to parliament should alarm us all and the government's complicity in enabling it, in failing to back parliament and evading scrutiny of its own role in crimes that we now were committed during the referendum is an ongoing national scandal."

Amelia Gentleman, from The Guardian, was recognised for her extraordinary reporting on the Windrush scandal. She was praised for "the clarity and empathy in her writing, which effectively highlighted individual stories as well as the wider investigation into the government's 'hostile environment' immigration policy which led to the resignation of the Home Secretary."

Upon receiving the award, Gentleman said: "Immigration issues are often very complicated; we made a decision to explain the Windrush problem by focusing on the individual experiences of those affected. The Guardian commissioned beautiful portraits of everyone we wrote about. This approach made it impossible for readers and politicians to dismiss this as an abstract issue. They were forced to understand that real people's lives were being ruined by the government's hostile environment policies and the Home Office's mistaken decision to classify hundreds of long-term Caribbean-born residents, (most of whom had lived in the UK for around half a century), as illegal immigrants."

David Lammy MP was presented by Rachel Sylvester of The Times with Politician of the Year. A Labour Member of Parliament for his home constituency of Tottenham since 2000, Lammy was recognised as one of Parliament's most prominent and successful campaigners for social justice. He was specifically chosen by judges "in recognition of the significant impact he has made in continuing to speak powerfully on the Grenfell Tower fire, the Windrush scandal and Brexit."

While accepting the award, Lammy said: "I am delighted, but humbled to win the PSA Politician of the Year award. During this tumultuous period in British politics, I have done my best to amplify the voices of those who do not have a platform to speak. I therefore have to dedicate this award to the 72 who died because of a fire in Grenfell Tower that could have and should have been prevented, the thousands of British families subject to the hostile environment because of Home Office’s appalling treatment of the Windrush generation, and the young people in my constituency whose livelihoods and future are threatened by Brexit."

Michel Barnier, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Professor Margaret MacMillan were also recognised tonight but unable to attend. 

Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator heading the Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of Negotiations with the UK under Article 50, was awarded the International Recognition award. The award has been given for Barnier's key role in leading the EU side of the Brexit negotiations, which, the judges noted, he has done in a  "cool, consistent and rational manner."

In response to receiving this award, Barnier said: "Since the beginning of these negotiations, the EU has maintained its unity. We applied a policy of transparency that supported public debate. And we worked using a step-by-step approach, with continuous dialogue between the 27 Member States and EU institutions. It is an honour to receive today’s award. While I still believe Brexit is a lose-lose scenario for the EU and the UK, our method in these negotiations – thanks to both sides – has allowed us to reach the best deal possible in these difficult circumstances. We have always worked with the UK, never against them."

Award-winning composer, lyricist and performer, Lin-Manuel Miranda was awarded Contribution to the Arts and Culture for the outstanding success and impact of 'Hamilton - An American Musical'. Judges lauded the impact of Hamilton in "help[ing] the public better understand and interpret politics and political history. It is not only a theatrical and musical triumph but also provides powerful frames of reference for contemporary political debates."

For the Political Studies Communicator award, Professor Margaret MacMillan was recognised by judges for her academic expertise, acknowledging the interdisciplinary impact of her work and that the study of politics (and political history) is broadly defined. She has been commended for her recent BBC Reith Lectures, including 'The Mark of Cain', and how they have demonstrated excellence in communicating ideas, issues and evidence-based research to the wider public.




The full list of winners:

Politician of the Year: Rt Hon David Lammy MP

Parliamentarian of the Year: Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP

Backbencher of the Year: Diana Johnson MP

Broadcaster of the Year: Katya Adler

International Recognition Award: Michel Barnier

Campaigners of the Year: Alliance for Choice 

Best Use of Evidence: Tracey Crouch MP

Journalist of the Year: Amelia Gentleman and Carole Cadwalladr   

Sir Isaiah Berlin Award for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies: Professor Mick Moran

Political Studies Communicator: Professor Margaret MacMillan 

Contribution to Arts & Culture: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Political Photographer of the Year: Peter Nicholls   

Lifetime Achievement: Baroness Jowell

PSA Student Video Competition: Wallace High School, Lisburn



Notes to editors 

  • For detailed press releases or quotes from any of the winners please contact 
  • The 17th Annual PSA Awards was held at Church House, Westminster, London on 27 November 2018 to celebrate noteworthy academics, journalists, politicians, political campaigners and policy-makers who have made significant contributions to the conduct and study of politics.
  • This year's Awards Jury included Professor Roger Awan-Scully (Trustee, PSA), Ayeshsa Hazarika (Commentator, Broadcaster and Comedian), Rachel Sylvester (Political Columnist, The Times), and Professor Angelia Wilson (Chair, PSA). 
  • Photos from the event will be available from Monday, 3 December 2018 via the PSA Flickr Account
  • The event will be broadcast by BBC Parliament and aired after the event on 1 December 2018 at 21:00 GMT.
  • Follow social media coverage of the awards at @PolStudiesAssoc and #PSAAwards.
  • Please contact Sydney Budgeon, PSA Communications and Media Relations Officer, with any other media enquiries: // 07938 128242 // 0207 321 2454.
  • The Political Studies Association has been working since 1950 to develop and promote the study of politics. It is the leading UK Association in its field, with an international membership including academics in political science and current affairs, theorists and practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and students.