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I back your choice of IDS, Tim! This is a decent compassionate man who has become a doughty champion for the underprivileged and the victims of the Broken Society. I believe he was not at his best as Party Leader but now, in this role he is superb. He deserves the award Backbencher of the Year.

Both excellent choices. Given the economy was centre stage this year, my choice would be Ken Clarke. When George Osborne was going through a difficult period, Ken picked up the reins in media terms and used his expertise and judgement to great effect.

The way people like Clarke, Davis, IDS, Michael Howard and others have worked together in the Commons at crucial points - such as Damian Green's arrest - has been impressive.

This has been the first year for a long time when the back benches and front bench appear to have been working as one - long may that continue.

Either John Redwood or Ken Clarke.

Mr Redwood for his acute financial insight and excellent blog. He was right about Northern Rock when Vince Cable was wrong and continues to fly the flag for sound monetary policy at a time of fiscal crisis.

Ken Clarke has been a constant thorn in the side of the Labour government, broadening our attack on Brown's management of the economy with a credibility that makes gobby Ministers like Tony McNulty think twice before opening their traps.

Together these two prove that either wing of the Conservatives have more financial competence than the former politics lecturer and his minions who thinks they've saved the planet.

I'd prefer to recognise a more genuine backbencher. Someone like Greg Hands MP who has been tireless in campaigning against Labour.

The quiet man is still turning up the volume.

Mind you, he started from a pretty low volume.

Yes I think IDS (whose work I admire hugely) and DD (who I thought was right to resign) have a slightly unfair advantage of profile in comparison to 'normal' backbenchers.
Phillip Hollobone is certainly my favourite MP but I would agree that Greg Hands and Douggie Carswell should get an honourable mention in despatches for their industry and effort. Funny that I should nominate those three as I'm not much of a right winger myself.
Probably anathema on this board but I would also like to nominate a Lib Dem, Norman Baker who sees beyond the westminster bubble and makes himself a serious thorn in the side of both the government and the political establishment.More power to your elbow Norman!

Bill Cash gets my vote for telling it like it is and for not waffling on trying to placate both sides of an argument. His view is his view and he gives it for the right reasons in my opinion, so if ever a parliamentarian had bottle and wanted to lead a charge, he'd be the man I was stood behind and he'd be the man I would most trust to give it straight from the hip without waffle.

David Davies MP

The only Conservative backbench MP who is viscerally anti Labour, every day of the week.

I do find it astonishing that 11 years into a failed Labour Government, Labour is regularly able to put up backbench MPs who openly hate the Tories with a passion- people like McShane, Kaufman, Ruane, Pound and Thornberry.

In the Thatcher Years we had many similar partisan backbenchers on our side- now we only have David Davies.

Sad really.

David Davis certainly for his putting his money (seat) where his mouth was.

Ken Clarke also but I fear that his Europhilia would upset too many members here.

Chris Grayling for his seemingly one man oppostion to Labour.
Whilst IDS has done much,is decent and honourable he is no ordinary backbencher .As an ex leader he is not as free to criticise the party/leadership without appearing disloyal etc so I would rule him out.In any event I would rule out anybody in favour of an amnesty for illegal migrants.

Chris Grayling is a frontbencher, Michael.


Frank Field MP (Labour) by a country mile. He has been considerably more effective in slapping down Gordon Brown than our knee-jerking Thunderbird puppets and has that peculiarly idiosyncratic tendency, for a politico, to articulate the truth.

'Mr Field told MPs: I believe a cut in VAT is like spitting in the face of an economic hurricane.'

From Brown's brain activity flat-lining futility of the 2.5% VAT cut to the inexorable approach of societal apocalypse. And he is in-line and on-song with Iain Duncan Smith:


But, of course, apart from Sir John Major, he is the only significant politician to recognise and dare to publicly state the 'E' word.

What's not to like?

I concur with the suggestion of Douglas Carswell, not only for his co-authorship of The Plan but also for his courage in putting his head above the parapet and calling for the Speaker to resign, given the practical repercussions that this could have for him on the floor of the Commons.

Margaret Thatcher on Frank Field MP;

' a good man, its just a shame that he has been wrong on just about every issue in his career'

Nadine Dorries MP for her brave stance on abortion. Few MPs have the guts or the stamina to take on such a controversial issue. She alone shamed the Commons when it showed - yet again - how out of touch and remote it is from the rest of the country on this issue.

John Redwood. For being the one person who actually fights the Labour spin instead of creating his own.

Hello London Tory

Lady Marge has moved on:

Frank in May 2008 said that Margaret Thatcher "is certainly a hero" and that "I still see Mrs T from time to time – I always call her 'Mrs T', when I talk to her."

Our Frank is not a target.

He is a practising Anglican and member of the General Synod, a Tory party member when young and he says weird and outlandish things such as:

'Mr Field argued that there would be a second devolution measure and the only question was whether the change would be led by Gordon Brown or David Cameron, the Tory leader. He said: “No one is better placed than the Prime Minister, representing a Scottish constituency, to deliver justice to English voters. The political rewards of doing so could be considerable.'

He knows that Labour has it all to play for in England whilst we lumber about on the sidelines denying the inevitable.

“The dangers for Labour of failing to lead the debate are perhaps even greater. That conclusion may come about not simply by the Tories being generally accepted by voters as the English party. An even worse outcome would be for Labour to concede to the BNP yet another issue - along with immigration - with which to appeal to Labour's core voters.”

Greg Hands, as suggested above, would be my pick too.

"Chris Grayling is a frontbencher, Michael."
Oops,too much fluid this Christmas,apologies---make him frontbencher for 2008.

It'll have to be David Davis for going outside the box,although I'm tempted with Bob Spink for almost leaving the pitch.

It's nice to see a 'backbenchers' ballot thread here, but just to make it totally fair, and to avoid being tarnished as being biased, I was wondering whether the author could produce another ballot for 'backstabbers' so we can make our preferences known for those requiring the Halifax Gibbet please?

@ rugfish

A good idea, Quentin Davies has opened up as 1/5 fav to win it.

Michael Fallon for his work on the Treasury Select Committee in exposing the economic failures of this Government.

I would recommend either John Redwood, Douglas Carswell or David Davis.

Certainly NOT Ken Clarke!

Posted by: London Tory | December 30, 2008 at 10:59

I second that, followed by all the scroungers who voted against a referendum, against their respective manifesto and against their reason to be there at all, but Quentin Davies can certainly lead the way to the Halifax Gibbet if he doesn't get lost in the crowd.

I would go along with John Scott's comment @ 09.06 - a 'grown-up' balanced comment, such a difference to the usual whines!

I also agree wholeheartedly with Sally @ 8.42.

But the idealist in me would still pick David Davis as Backbencher of the Year.

I suppose you could say that there are two interpretations to the Backbencher of the Year - one, from the Parliamentary point of view, and another from the point of view of the general public's perception.

I think that 'interpretation' is not quite the right word, but I can't think of exactly the right word!

I would like to nominate Philip Davies (Shipley). He attacks this incompetent government at every opportunity and has the best answer to the problems the EU creates for us - BETTER OFF OUT - how true!

Controversial Tim, plugging your mates on the site. I'm not a huge IDS fan, but then he did call be "Sadly Biased" - which is true!! LOL. You refrained from adding him onto the return of the big beasts list...... Trouble with Iain and John Redwood, is that they are good thinkers and independantly minded, but when things don't go their way the teeth start to show. Putting people like that around a cabinet table is a nightmareish thought for a PM who needs a team to work together through rough and smooth, even if they disagree with the direction of some things. Iain and John would rather attempt to throw their protaganists out the window.

Could go to any of;

David Davis
David Davies (whom I started to follow after his speech to the Black Police Officers thingy conference)
John Redwood

....and I called Iain a 'right wing robot'.... do you have the thread on the history Tim????

Andrew Rosindell for his everlasting efforts on patriotism

Doug Carswell for his Direct Democracy and localist campaign.

Frank Field.

Frank Field. ho ho ho, wish he was on our side of the house though, good guy - Brown hates him because he's talented and stands up to his bullying.

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