The shortlist will then be assessed by our team of esteemed judges who will select the winners.
Hannah Bardell MP
Hannah Bardell, Member of Parliament for the Livingston Constituency, SNP Spokesperson for Consular Affairs and International Engagement, Founder and Chair of the APPG on Deaths Abroad, Consular Service and Assistance. A Stirling University graduate, Hannah began her career in commercial television before working with the SNP, producing and presenting SNPtv online. She worked for the US State Department in the Edinburgh Consulate and then spent three years in the oil and gas sector in Aberdeen. Hannah was elected in the 2015 UK general election, again in 2017 and in the 2019 snap election.
Lord Bird MBE
John, The Lord Bird MBE, was born into poverty and brought up in care. His life journey has included spells as a prisoner, artist and printer. Now an activist, publisher and Crossbench member of the House of Lords, Lord Bird is the driving force behind The Big Issue Group, which includes the world's most successful street magazine, The Big Issue and its social investment arm, Big Issue Invest. Lord Bird is a business leader with an outstanding record of using enterprise as a force for social change in dismantling the root causes of poverty; and in Parliament, he focuses on poverty and homelessness prevention, literacy and protecting the rights of future generations.
Daniel has been the Managing Editor of The House magazine since July 2017. He joined the magazine in July 2013, and became Political Editor following the 2015 General Election. He was previously a reporter on PoliticsHome.
Sir Graham Brady MP
Sir Graham Brady has been the MP for Altrincham and Sale West since 1997 and the Chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs since 2010. The 1922 Committee is the principal conduit for communication between Conservative MPs and the Prime Minister and Conservative Ministers and advises the Prime Minister on the mood of the party whilst ensuring that Ministers have an opportunity to speak to colleagues and to listen to their views on policy. Graham is well known to be independent minded and a champion of state grammar schools, having resigned from the front bench in 2007 to campaign in support of selective education. He was awarded ‘Backbencher of the Year’ by The Spectator in 2010. Graham has previously served as a shadow minister, holding the schools, employment, as well as the Europe brief. Graham also served on the Education and Employment Select Committee from 1997-2001 and the Treasury Select Committee from 2007-2010. Prior to his election in 1997, Graham was Public Affairs Director of the Waterfront Partnership. He had previously worked at the Centre for Policy Studies and Shandwick Plc. Graham studied law at Durham University. He is married to Victoria and they have a daughter and a son.
Marsha de Cordova MP
Marsha has served as the MP for Battersea since 2017 and was previously a Labour Party councillor in Lambeth, London. Marsha is the current Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and before served as the Shadow Minister for Disabled People between 2017 – 2020. Here, she led on labours policy on disabled people and held the government to account on the impact of social security cuts and reducing the disability employment gap. She has a proud history of working in the voluntary sector for over 10 years before becoming an MP. Marsha was born with nystagmus and is registered blind. She has dedicated much of her life to campaigning for disability rights and is passionate about equality for all.
Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE
Meral was appointed a life peer to the House of Lords on the Liberal Democrat benches in 2010, after a long career in local government the NHS, and the voluntary sector. She served as a local councillor in the London Boroughs of Hackney and Islington for a total of 16 years, and established the first centre for domestic violence victims for Turkish and Kurdish women in London. She has campaigned against violence against women in the BAME communities, and race equality, for many years. Meral served as a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and is Equalities Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrat’s Lords Group. Meral is currently a member of the House of Lords Conduct Committee.
Amy Leversidge is Assistant General Secretary at the FDA union, the union for leaders and managers in the civil service and public service, including the House of Commons. Amy is responsible for the union’s organising, learning and communications functions, in addition to managing half the National Officer team, including the FDA’s Officers in the devolved nations. Amy lead on the union’s campaign in the House of Commons to get a fully independent policy to deal with bullying, harassment and sexual harassment complaints and she has written articles for the House magazine, the Times, the Guardian and the Huffington Post about the issues. Previously Amy worked at the Royal College of Midwives and organised the first ever industrial action undertaken by midwives in the 134-year history of the union. Amy has an MSc in Employment Relations from Warwick University. Amy is married and has a toddler, Albert.
Jess Phillips MP
Jess Phillips is a Labour Party politician who became the MP for the constituency of Birmingham Yardley at the 2015 general election. Jess has committed her life to improving the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable. Before becoming an MP, Jess worked for Women’s Aid in the West Midlands developing services for victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, human trafficking and exploitation. She became a councillor in 2012, in this role she worked tirelessly to support residents, with her work being recognised when she became Birmingham's first ever Victims Champion. Since becoming an MP, Jess has continued her fight to support those who need it the most and has earned a reputation for plain speaking since being elected, unfazed by threats and calling out sexist attitudes as she promotes women’s rights. Jess has written two bestselling books ‘Everywoman One Woman’s Truth About Speaking The Truth’ and ‘Truth to Power: 7 Ways to Call Time on BS’. Both books reflect her commitment to speaking up and having the courage to have your voice heard and make a difference.
Michael Salter-Church MBE
Michael is the Director of External Affairs, CSR & Policy for Openreach, the UK’s largest digital infrastructure company. He has a background in communications and public affairs, having spent most of his career in Westminster. He served as a special advisor in No10 to David Cameron, leading on broadcasting and equal marriage legislation. He has worked in banking and retail, heading up Public Affairs for Sainsbury’s during its acquisition of Argos. In 2012, Michael founded - and still co-chairs – LGBT+ Pride in London, the Community Interest Company that organises London’s Pride events - with over a million people across the event footprint, only the London Marathon and New Year fireworks are bigger. He is a member of the organising committee for the Ultimate News Quiz, the leading annual fundraising event for two charities, Action for Children and Restless Development, and serves as an advisor to National Student Pride. In 2019 he was elected to the governing Council of the National Trust, the UK’s largest charity for environmental and heritage conservation. Michael was awarded an MBE in 2015 for public service and in 2019 accepted the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service on behalf of Pride in London. He lives in Peckham with his husband, and two blind cats.
Gary Sambrook MP
Gary is the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield and a former staffer. Gary was born in Birmingham and was elected to the City Council in 2014 in a by-election. He was raised on one of the most deprived estates in the Country, Kingstanding, and attended a secondary school which had an 11% pass rate. Following school Gary attended Birmingham City University and then worked for the Conservative Party as a Campaign Manager. After the 2015 General Election he became the Senior Parliamentary Assistant to James Morris MP. Since becoming an MP Gary has focused most of his efforts on tackling housing inequality, brownfield remediation and issues affecting 'left behind' neighbourhoods.
Dr Hannah White OBE
Dr Hannah White has strategic oversight of the Institute’s programme of work on government, parliament and the civil service, focusing on our external relationships and impact. Hannah has extensive knowledge of Westminster and Whitehall based on over a decade of experience in Parliament and the civil service. Before running the Committee on Standards in Public Life in the Cabinet Office, she was a clerk in the House of Commons managing select and legislative committees and advising on parliamentary procedure. Hannah is a commentator for radio and television and has appeared on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, World at One, the Today programme, Newsnight, BBC News and Sky News. She is a regular contributor to the Institute’s comment pages and writes for a range of media including The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and Civil Service World. Hannah joined the Institute for Government in May 2014 and leads the Institute’s work on Parliament.
Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP
Judge of The Speaker's Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Commons
Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s world has always revolved around politics. As a babe in arms in 1957, he attended his first Labour Party conference with his father, Doug – now Lord Hoyle - then an aspiring MP. From the age of seven, he was a regular on the campaign trail, delivering leaflets to help his father’s first attempt to stand in Clitheroe. When Doug Hoyle finally secured the Nelson and Colne constituency in 1974, it was no surprise Lindsay’s political career was set. He became the youngest ever councillor to serve Chorley when elected in 1980 at the age of 22. He went on to become Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, and then Mayor of Chorley in 1997-1998. Having his appetite wetted by local politics, Lindsay stood and won the Chorley seat in 1997 – the first Labour MP to represent the constituency for 18 years. In Parliament, Lindsay has served on the Trade & Industry Select Committee and the European Scrutiny Committee – and in 2010, he was elected by fellow MPs to the position of Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means. But on a pledge to keep MPs, staff and their families safe, to be an impartial chair and improve the image of Parliament, Lindsay was elected as Speaker on 4 November 2019, following the resignation of Speaker John Bercow.
At home, Lindsay is a family man and the proud owner of a menagerie of pets. He is devoted to wife Cath, his daughter and two grandchildren. Outside of politics, he is fan of rugby league, football, cricket and gardening.
Rt Hon Lord Fowler Kt PC
Judge of The Lord Speaker's Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Lords
Lord Fowler was elected as the third Lord Speaker in 2016. He studied Economics and Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was Chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association. He joined The Times newspaper as a trainee in 1961 and was home affairs correspondent 1966–70. He was a member of the Editorial Board of Crossbow 1962–69. Lord Fowler was elected Member of Parliament first for Nottingham South from 1970–1974 and then Sutton Coldfield from 1974–2001. He served as Secretary of State for Transport from 1979–1981, Secretary of State for Health and Social Services from 1981–1987, during which time he headed the department’s response to the AIDS epidemic implementing the ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’ awareness campaign. He served as Secretary of State for Employment from 1987–1990, and as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1992–1994. He was created a life peer in 2001 and has chaired two Lords select committees. As Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler chairs the House of Lords Commission and serves on the Procedure Committee. He promotes the work of the House domestically and abroad. He maintains a strong interest in HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment and continues to campaign on these issues.