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Parliamentary Book Awards Shortlist Unveiled

Parliamentary Book Awards Shortlist Unveiled

Harriet Harman, Nick Clegg and former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, are among the influential politicians who are on the shortlist for the inaugural Parliamentary Book Awards; the only political book awards voted for by parliamentarians.

Launched by the Booksellers Association of UK and Ireland and the Publishers Association in 2016, the awards aim to celebrate the best of political writing and the long-standing link between politics, books and publishing.


The awards celebrate parliamentary writing across three categories: Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian; Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian; and Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian.

Titles shortlisted for the Parliamentary Book Awards are:


Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian

  • A Woman’s Work by Harriet Harman
  • Everywoman: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth by Jess Phillips
  • First Confession by Chris Patten 

Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian

  • How to Stop Brexit by Nick Clegg
  • War and the Death of News by Martin Bell
  • Richard III by Chris Skidmore

Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian

  • Jo Cox: More in Common by Brendan Cox
  • Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis
  • Things Can Only Get Worse?: Twenty Confusing Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter by John O’Farrell

Publishers were invited to nominate books and authors for the awards, and the shortlist was drawn up by booksellers. Voting is now open for parliamentarians to decide the winner in each category.

The awards will be presented at a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons on 5 December.

Stephen Lotinga, the Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said: “This year’s shortlist demonstrates the vital contribution books make to our political landscape. From exploring what life is like to work as a female MP to reflecting on the current state of the news industry, these titles highlight the value books can play in contributing to important political debates and in giving the public insight into the lives of those making decisions on their behalf.”

Tim Godfray, the Chief Executive of the Booksellers Association, said: “Last year’s awards was a great success, and we are looking forward to celebrating yet another fascinating and influential shortlist of books. The shortlists that have been curated by Britain’s booksellers are richly varied and include some books that are very much for the moment; written by some of our country’s leading parliamentarians and those closely related to the world of politics. The decision on the winner of each category is now in the hands of our parliamentarians, who have the next few weeks to vote for their favourite.”

Notes to Editors

The submission criteria is as follows:

  • Books to have been published in the UK in Hardback or Paperback between 31 October 2016 and 2 October 201
  • Books by Parliamentarians to have been written by a current or former MP, Member of  the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or Northern Irish Legislative Assembly, MEP or Member of the House of Lords
  • Political works by non-Parliamentarians should relate to UK or EU parliamentary politics     or politicians.
  • There are no fees attached to entries in the awards.

The Parliamentary Book Awards 2016 winners were:

  • Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian: The Long Winding Road, by Alan Johnson
  • Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian: Called to Account, by Margaret Hodge
  • Best Fiction by a Parliamentarian: Now is the Time, by Melvyn Bragg
  • Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian: Citizen Clem by Clement Attlee.

About The Booksellers Association (BA)

The Booksellers Association is a membership organization for all booksellers in the UK & Ireland, and we represent over 95% of specialist booksellers selling new books. The BA exists to support, advise and work with its members to create excellent products for booksellers. These range from National Book Tokens, our gift card which prompts increased footfall and keeps gift spending in the book trade, and Batch, our award-winning payments service, which saves time, money and hassle when settling invoices and organising returns, to a full range of money-saving affinity deals, a free Business Support Helpline and a whole range of tailored events, marketing and promotional campaign work, including IndieBound, World Book Day, the Christmas Books catalogue and Independent Booksellers Week.

About the Publishers Association

The Publishers Association (the PA) represents book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK, spanning fiction and non-fiction, academic and educational publishing. Our members include global companies such as Elsevier, Wiley, Pearson, Penguin Random House, Hachette and the University presses, as well as many independent publishing houses.