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John Redwood is ConservativeHome's Backbencher of 2011

By Tim Montgomerie
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Yesterday Michael Gove won ConservativeHome's Conservative of the Year accolade. Over 50% of nearly 2,000 readers voted for him.


In the second award we name John Redwood as the readers' backbencher of the year. It is interesting that both John and the second-placed MP, Douglas Carswell, both write well-read blogs. John's blog, in particular, is so regular and so thoughtful that he has emerged as one of the country's most important economic commentators. I was talking to old friends at the Bank of England a few weeks ago and they all said that it was widely read at Threadneedle Street.

Nuttall DavidI voted for David Nuttall - number 14 in the list of members' choices. David was the MP who led the motion for a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU and which won the support of eighty other Tory MPs, notably Adam Holloway and Stewart Jackson. Without that rebellion and without subsequent pressure from IDS and Owen Paterson I wonder if Cameron's big EU veto would ever have happened? 2011 was the year of the super-charged backbencher and David Nuttall epitomises the phenomenon. He has entered parliament without a ministerial career in mind. He's there to fight single-mindedly for the causes that matter to him and his constituents. There is a danger in having too many Nuttalls but parliament is richer for people like him and Zac Goldsmith and Sarah Wollaston.

Only three women on the list but I'm glad to see Priti Patel at the top of the three. Like Louise Mensch and Nadine Dorries she has star quality. She had a massive hit in Friday's Daily Mail. She won the front page splash for figures she unearthed on reoffending rates among people serving community sentences. I suspect we will be hearing a lot more from her in the months ahead.

Here are the top 20 MPs from our readers' vote:

  1. John Redwood: 11.4%
  2. Douglas Carswell: 5.5%
  3. David Davis: 5.2%
  4. Jacob Rees-Mogg: 4.1%
  5. Peter Bone: 2.9%
  6. Dominic Raab 2.2%
  7. Louise Mensch 2.1%
  8. Priti Patel: 1.7%
  9. Nadine Dorries 1.4%
  10. Robert Halfon: 1.4%
  11. Mark Pritchard: 1.2%
  12. Philip Davies: 1.1%
  13. Bernard Jenkin: 1.0%
  14. David Nuttall: 0.8%
  15. Jesse Norman: 0.7%
  16. Rory Stewart: 0.6%
  17. Matt Hancock: 0.5%
  18. Sajid Javid: 0.4%
  19. Adam Holloway: 0.4%
  20. Bill Cash: 0.4%

> On Friday we published the league table for MPs' newspaper mentions. Tomorrow we'll announce the political moment of 2011.


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