Meet last year’s judges

The judging panel for the next edition of the awards is currently being created. Please see below for information about last year’s judges.

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Name Surname
title or previous award winner
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Name Surname
Title or Previous award winner

Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP

Since being elected for her home seat of Staffordshire Moorlands in 2010, Karen has been honoured to have served as a Minister in the Government Whips office, a Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury (a senior Whip), the Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime in the Home Office, where she brought in the Serious Crime Act and just before Parliament was dissolved in March 2015, she secured the passing of the Modern Slavery Act. After being re-elected in 2015, she became Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime at the Home Office followed by Secretary of State for Digital, Culture Media and Sport and then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland until July 2019.  In February 2020 Karen was proud to be elected Chair of the House of Commons Procedure Committee. She is also Co-Chair of the APPG on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery and Chair of the APPG on Challenger Banks and Building Societies.

Sir Graham Brady MP

Graham has been the MP for Altrincham and Sale West since 1997 and the Chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs since 2010. 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.

Catherine Colloms

Catherine Colloms, MD Corporate Affairs & Brand leads Openreach’s strategic communications, public affairs and reputation.

Prior to joining Openreach, Catherine was corporate affairs director at Paddy Power from 2013–2016, and helped found the Senet Group, the first industry self-regulatory body. She was previously a director at Brunswick Group, where she worked on various campaigns for clients including PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, IKEA, Lehman Brothers, McKinsey, NBC Universal and Thomson Reuters. She also spent six months in 2011 working on the BP Deepwater Horizon crisis.

Catherine started her career at the Foreign Office where she worked on a range of crisis situations, including the Government’s humanitarian response to 9/11. She also led the development of the UK’s policy on Kosovo and was personal political adviser to Lord Ashdown, the high representative for Bosnia, in Sarajevo.

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.


Thangam Debbonaire MP

Thangam has lived in Bristol for more than 30 years. She is Member of Parliament for Bristol West and since May 2021 has been Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. In this role she is responsible for scrutinising the government’s parliamentary agenda and ensuring the effective running of parliament. Thangam was previously Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Shadow Brexit Minister and a Labour whip. Since Thangam was first elected in 2015, she has championed a wide range of issues, including refugee rights, cancer treatment for young people and support for the creative industries.

Dame Meg Hillier MP

Meg Hillier has been the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch since 2005 and is the current Chair of the Public Accounts Committee; a committee that plays a vital role in the scrutiny of the government’s public expenditure. Her parliamentary career has seen her serve as a Shadow Minister for the Home Office in 2010 and Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2010 to 2011. Prior to her work in Parliament, Meg represented Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest on the London Assembly and was the youngest ever Mayor of Islington from 1998 to 1999.

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

Amy is the 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 led 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.

Anum Qaiser MP

Anum was elected in a byelection as the SNP MP for Airdrie and Shotts in 2021 and she is currently the only person of colour to represent a Scottish Constituency in the House of Commons. She currently sits on the Women and Equalities Select Committee. As a former Modern Studies and Politics teacher, Anum is particularly interested in issues centring around social justice and equality, violence against women and girls, international relations, feminist foreign policy, and many other intersectional issues. Anum also continues to work alongside organisations to increase participation of under-represented and minoritised groups in politics.

Alan White

Alan White is EIC of The House and PoliticsHome. Prior to his current role he was news editor at BuzzFeed UK, and before that his journalism appeared in the New Statesman, Observer, Times, Guardian, TLS, Private Eye and the Sunday Express among others. He is the author of Who Really Runs Britain?, a critically acclaimed study of the outsourcing industry. He won the Royal Television Society Award for Scoop of the Year in 2017 and has been shortlisted for a British Journalism Award for Investigation of the Year.

Dr Hannah White OBE

Hannah 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.

With special thanks to:

RT Hon the Lord McFall of Alcluith

John has been in Parliament now for more than 35 years, having been the MP for Dumbarton (and later West Dumbartonshire) from 1987 to 2010. Prior to this, he worked as a mathematics and chemistry teacher in West Scotland. He held several roles while in the Commons, including as a party whip, Northern Ireland minister, and for nine years the chair of the Treasury Select Committee. Following his retirement as an MP, he was elevated to the House of Lords, where he became Senior Deputy Speaker in 2016. Elected as the fourth Lord Speaker in 2021, he pledged to promote the House of Lords as a vibrant second chamber which is open, transparent and engages with the wider public.

With special thanks to:

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. 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.