Parliamentary Book Awards 2019 winners revealed

ConsumerPress Release
James O’Brien and Rachel Reeves with their awards.

James O’Brien, Rachel Reeves and Ian Murray beat David Cameron, Jess Philips and Melvyn Bragg to take home awards.

Eclectic winning titles shine light on the pioneering women of Parliament, the nuances of modern political debate and football fandom.

London. 26 February 2020: James O’Brien, Rachel Reeves and Ian Murray were announced as the winners of the 2019 Parliamentary Book Awards this evening at a ceremony at the House of Commons, beating David Cameron, Melvyn Bragg, and Jess Philips.  

Broadcaster James O’Brien took home Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian for his book How to be Right: In A World Gone Wrong. The LBC presenter’s humorous and insightful guide delves into how public opinion has been shaped in the modern day, where double standards exist, and how to ask the key questions that expose fallacies and inconsistencies in popular arguments.

Rachel Reeves won the Best Non-Biographical Book by a Parliamentarian award for Women of Westminster: The MPs who Changed Politics, which charts the history of female Parliamentarians,exploring the political achievements of pioneering women over the past 100 years.

Ian Murray was awarded Best Biography or Memoir by a Parliamentarian for This is Our Story: How the Fans Kept Their Hearts Beating, the story of how fans of Heart of Midlothian – Edinburgh’s oldest football club – donated their own money to save the club from ruin in 2014.

Ian Murray with his award

The only political book awards curated by bookshops and voted for by parliamentarians, the Parliamentary Book Awards were launched by the Booksellers Association and the Publishers Association in 2016 to celebrate the best of political writing and acknowledge the important relationship between politics and publishing. The shortlist is voted for by UK bookshops, with parliamentarians then voting for the winner in each category.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Dame Margaret Hodge MP, with Pippa Crerar, Political Editor of the Daily Mirror returning to present for the second year.

Stephen Lotinga, the Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said: “From a strong shortlist we have three fantastic winners that showcase the variety of brilliant political writing in the UK today. From Ian Murray’s inspiring account of the importance and power of community; Rachel Reeves’ fascinating and informative look at the achievements of, and challenges faced by, female MPs in the past and now and James O’Brien’s lively interrogation of fake news. Congratulations to the authors and publishers of these books which entertain but also offer insight into the political landscape.”

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, said: “We are delighted to celebrate this year’s winning titles, which showcase the vast wealth of subjects tackled in political writing. Parliamentarians had an incredible range of titles to choose from this year, with a shortlist exploring everything from gender in politics to a 12th century love story, from questions of identity and citizenship to the passion of football fans for their community. The Parliamentary Book Awards continue to demonstrate the contribution books make to the political discussions taking place today, underlining the importance of the link between the political sphere and the book world.”

This year’s winners were selected from a shortlist featuring many familiar names from Westminster and beyond, including David Cameron’s For the Record, Truth to Power: 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S by Jess Phillips, Love Without End: A Story of Heloise and Abelard by Melvyn Bragg, and Lemn Sissay’s autobiography My Name is Why.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for 4th December 2019 but was postponed due to the general election. The 2020 Parliamentary Book Awards will take place later this year.