Announcing the finalists for the ‘Parliamentary Campaigner of the Year’ award at the Pagefield Parliamentarian Awards with Dods

Tuesday 12th March

Campaigning lies at the heart of British politics. MPs and Peers, whether sitting on the backbenches or frontbenches, can use political and media channels and Parliamentary levers – including debates, Private Members Bills, and amendments – to campaign for and ultimately secure real change. 

In 2023, campaigning MPs and Peers used Parliament and the media to change the law, raise awareness of long-time injustices, and obtain government pledges to support their calls to action. From putting important issues in the public eye to forcing government turnarounds and using national media to make local cases, these Parliamentarians have shown us British campaigning politics at its best. 

We have sought nominations from MPs, Parliamentary staff and the general public to help us find the worthiest finalists for our ‘Parliamentary Campaigner of the Year’ award. The shortlist is below, with the winners to be announced during the Pagefield Parliamentarian Awards reception on 23rd April. 

Lord James Arbuthnot – Post Office scandal 

For more than 20 years, Lord Arbuthnot has campaigned for justice for those affected by the Horizon Post Office scandal, and in 2023 he continued to raise the issue both within and outside of Parliament. 

Ahead of ITV’s Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which thrust the scandal into the public consciousness and in which he featured, Lord Arbuthnot was continuing to tirelessly campaign on behalf of the subpostmasters – calling on all Post Office convictions to be reviewed with the presumption of innocence at the forefront of those reviews. 

Dame Diana Johnson – Contaminated blood scandal 

In 2023, Dame Diana Johnson successfully secured an amendment that will see a body created to pay compensation to those infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal – the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the NHS – following a decades-long fight for justice. 

More than 3,000 people died after contracting HIV or hepatitis C after receiving a blood transfusion on the NHS or a treatment made from contaminated blood products. 

Around 30 Conservative MPs rebelled against a three-line whip to support Johnson’s amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, inflicting a government defeat. Johnson said it marked an “important step forward in what has been an extraordinarily long fight for justice.” 

Dr Luke Evans – Buy British 

In 2023, Dr Luke Evans spear-headed a cross-party campaign calling on supermarkets to add a ‘Buy British’ tab on their websites, enabling supermarkets to highlight the best of British produce at the click of a mouse.  

More than 120 MPs from across the Commons backed the move led by Evans to help support British farming and boost the UK’s economy.  Evans said, “Buying British is good for local food producers, good for the environment and good for consumer choice.” In December, Morrisons became the first major retailer to adopt the suggestion – followed by Aldi in 2024. 

Dame Maria Miller – Intimate image abuse 

In 2023, Dame Maria Miller’s near-decade long campaign resulted in new laws as part of the Online Safety Bill that will protect victims of intimate image abuse and ensure perpetrators are punished. 

Following Miller’s campaign, the Government laid down amendments to make new offences illegal including criminalising sharing an intimate image without someone’s consent, and threatening to share an image. These go further than the current ‘revenge porn law’ and also cover ‘deepfake’ images. 

Miller said intimate image abuse “destroys lives and, as a result of these changes to the Online Safety Bill, will become a sex crime which recognises the real damage done to victims.” 

Lord Alfred Dubs – Resettlement scheme for Palestinian refugees 

Lord Alf Dubs campaigned in 2023 for the creation of a resettlement scheme for Palestinians. 

Dubs, who was brought to Britain from Czechoslovakia fleeing Nazi occupation on one of the Kindertransport trains, suggested the scheme should be modelled around those which have helped Ukrainians, and that Britain should coordinate with other European states and international bodies such as the UN. He has also said there “has to be a cease-fire, the hostages must be released, and food and supplies have to get into Gaza.” 

Fleur Anderson – Banning plastic in wet wipes 

In 2023, Fleur Anderson MP continued her campaign against plastic in wet wipes, having lobbied for many years for stronger national plastic reduction targets and urging the Government to ban it during PMQs in September. The Government has backed Anderson’s campaign, announcing that wet wipes containing plastic will be banned in England following a consultation. Anderson has continued to push for a date for when this change will come into force.


The winners of the ‘Parliamentary Campaigner of the Year’ award will be decided from a final shortlist judged by our panel of leading political journalists. 

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