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Moment of 2009


Picture 8Jonathan Isaby's pick: It was the story that broke during the evening of Thursday 7th May and came to dominate the political agenda for so much of the rest of the year: the Daily Telegraph had bought the discs with the full unexpurgated, unredacted details of MPs' expenses claims going back to 2004 and it was going to make the most of it. Running stories day after day for what seemed like forever, it was explosive stuff and led to the ousting of the Commons Speaker and has caused numerous MPs to exit the Commons - with possible criminal charges yet to follow for some. Whilst the paper's blanket coverage did a disservice to some in the way that it sometimes failed really to differentiate between the worst offenders and those who were merely acting on the guidance of the Fees Office, it was the defining story of the year and has meant that long overdue reforms to the system of MPs' expenses are finally being implemented.

Tim Montgomerie's pick: I agree with Jonathan's choice but needing to pick something different I'll choose the Left's reaction to The Sun's endorsement of David Cameron. Although The Sun's decision was more of a response to Tory ascendancy than a cause of it, CCHQ are very glad to have Britain's best-selling newspaper on side (even if it sometimes goes over the top). My moment, however, is the reaction of the Labour Left to The Sun's decision (captured in the video below and in these words from Harriet Harman). The reaction gives us a taste of the lurch to the left that is underway within the Labour movement. If the retiring generation of Blairites are not replaced with equally strong figures, union leaders like Tony Woodley and left-wing bloggers will dominate Labour in the years to come.

> We have already named our Backbenchers of the Year and Frontbenchers of the Year.


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