Nicola Sturgeon named Scotland's top politician ... again

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been named Scotland's Politician Of The Year for her varied role in the last 12 months.

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Scotland's Politician Of The Year Nicola Sturgeon
Scotland's Politician Of The Year Nicola Sturgeon

The Glasgow Southside MSP took the top prize for the second time for having successfully steered the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill through the Scottish Parliament and leading the debate on a Bill for equal marriage.

During the year she was also handed responsibility for the 2014 independence referendum and named Infrastructure Secretary after leaving her job as Scotland's longest serving Health Secretary.

Ms Sturgeon previously won the award in 2008. She said: "As the third of their columnists to win, tonight belongs to the Glasgow Evening Times.

"I'd like to thank my husband Peter – there have been times when I thought 'I've spent more time with Michael Moore than with him.'

"Politics at any level is very much a team game. Without my colleagues I couldn't do what I do."

She led a list of Glasgow winners at this year's awards in Edinburgh, organised by the Evening Times' sister paper, The Herald.

Of the seven honours, Glasgow representatives took four, in a good night for the city's Labour and SNP MSPs.

Pollok MSP Johann Lamont, in her first year as Labour's Scottish leader, took the award for Political Impact for igniting the controversial debate about the affordability of universal benefits, such as free bus travel, prescriptions and free personal care.

Ms Lamont said: "It's been a long year. It's been a blast, it's been a hoot.

"My party has been in a bad place in that year. They have a long way to go to rebuild trust. If our politics do not relate to people in our communities we are all in a bad place."

Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, won Local Politician Of The Year after guiding Labour to a victory in the council elections in May, despite predictions the SNP could seize power in the City Chambers for the first time.

SNP MSP Humza Yousaf, who was elected only last year, took The One To Watch award after he impressed with a series of assured performances in the debating chamber, on the Justice Committee and in television appearances.

Ms Sturgeon, Mr Matheson and Mr Yousaf write columns for the Evening Times.

Tony Carlin, Evening Times' editor, said: "It is gratifying that three Evening Times' political columnists have been singled out by their peers for their contribution to Scottish politics."

Argyll youngster Martha Payne, whose school meals blog became a global sensation and helped raise more than £120,000 for the Mary's Meals charity in Malawi, won the Public Campaign or Campaigner of the Year award.

The other winners were:

Best Scot At Westminster:

MP Michael Moore (LibDems)

Donald Dewar Debater Of The Year:

MSP Dennis Robertson (SNP)

Politics In Business Award:

MPs Stewart Hosie (SNP) and Jim McGovern (Lab)

stewart.paterson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

MATHESON TOP FOR FIGHTING GLASGOW'S CORNER

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson won Local Politician Of The Year.

He was the man in charge when Labour won the local elections in May, despite expectations the SNP would snatch power.

Mr Matheson has been a leading campaigner for the city and has often been at odds with the Scottish Government over city funding.

A graduate of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities, he represents the Anderston/City ward and was elected leader in May 2010.

He said: "It's an enormous honour to lead Scotland's largest, friendliest and most stylish city, the powerhouse of the Scottish economy.

"Next year, we will find out if Glasgow has won the 2018 Youth Games, and 2014 is the year when Glasgow will host what will be the finest Commonwealth Games there has ever been."

HIGH FLYER YOUSAF TAKES ONE TO WATCH TITLE

SNP MSP Humza Yousaf was named winner of The One To Watch award.

The 26-year-old, who was elected in 2011, won praise for high-profile performances in Holyrood's main chamber and on the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee.

Mr Yousaf was recently promoted to Minister For External Development And International Relations.

After completing his degree in politics at Glasgow University, he worked in the Scottish Parliament with the late Bashir Ahmad MSP before working for a number of other MSPs, including Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister Alex Salmond and ex-city MSP Anne McLaughlin.

He said: "I'd like to say this win is down to me, but it's not.

"It's down to the advice of some very good people, people who took a chance on me – Alec Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and Bashir Ahmed. I owe them a great gratitude."

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