Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb was named Welsh Politician of the Year at the annual Wales Yearbook Political Awards last night. the judges praised him for setting a new course for Wales as the United Kingdom undergoes constitutional upheaval following the referendum in Scotland in September.
A total of seven awards were presented during the ceremony at Cardiff City Hall, attended by 250 people. Each winner was presented with a Mumph cartoon that poked gentle fun at the recipient.
From Westminster, Elfyn Llwyd MP, Plaid Cymru’s Parliamentary leader, was named Welsh MP of the Year for the measured, painstaking, way that he, as a Backbencher, had managed to influence UK legislation in important areas such as stalking and domestic violence.
AM of the Year was Liberal Democrat leader, Kirsty Williams AM, for exercising her political skills to enable the First Minister to achieve his Budget, but also allow the Lib Dems to claim significant policy gains in the areas of health and education.
This year also saw Wales’s highest profile international conference – the NATO Summit at the Celtic Manor in Newport. At the heart of the planning and delivery of this global event was Council leader, Cllr Bob Bright, who was consequently named Local Politician of the Year.
The Judges were also asked to identify the Campaigner of the Year and noted the leadership given by Labour’s Mick Antoniw AM in the fight to retain the Agricultural Wages Board. Abolished by Westminster, using the new powers of the Assembly, a replacement body was enshrined in specific Welsh Agricultural legislation that even, when challenged, survived constitutional scrutiny by the Supreme Court
Looking to the future, the Member to Watch was Ken Skates AM, a Labour Deputy Minister who was described by the chair of judges, Dr Denis Balsom, as "popular and quickly making a name for himself", The judges said he was destined to become a major figure in Welsh politics.”
Each year the Welsh Political Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an outstanding individual amongst senior politicians and public figures for their wok and commitment to Wales. This year’s recipient of the award is Professor Lord Morgan of Aberdyfi.
Highlights of the Welsh Political Awards will be shown on ITV Wales on Thursday 11 December at 11.10 pm