The busiest year in Westminster’s living memory underlines how important all parliamentarians are

By Oliver Foster

Tuesday 14th February

One year on from Pagefield’s Backbenchers of the Year report, Chief Executive Oliver Foster reflects on the continuing importance of individual politicians, in a political year that Westminster is unlikely to forget in a hurry.

A year ago, Pagefield published its first report on the importance of individual parliamentarians. The ‘Backbenchers of the Year’ report highlighted the dutiful work many MPs do often behind the scenes and away from the media spotlight.

At the time, our Partner Rebecca Lury stated that “The role of the backbench MP is more important than ever”.

Her words couldn’t have been truer following a year in Westminster that many of us will seldom forget. The war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis, Westminster sleaze and economic turbulence on a scale not seen since 2008 have all contributed to this being one of the most politically consequential years so far this century.

But what all the above – and many more instances – highlighted is how it’s not just backbench MPs who play a vital role in our Parliament, but also the role individual ministers and Select Committee chairs play too across both chambers.

That is why in this year’s report we have decided to spread our focus to include all parliamentarians. Pagefield Parliamentarian Awards 2022 looks at the most influential ministers, select committee chairs, as well as those whose speeches within either of the two chambers had a significant impact. There are four awards: Backbench MP of the Year, Frontbench MP of the Year, Select Committee Chair of the Year and Speech of the Year.

So please take a moment to read our report, and appreciate some of the fantastic work MPs and Peers of all stripes have done this year in our democracy. Winners will be announced on 28th February.

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