Mark Drakeford named Welsh Politician of the Year

Winners of the Welsh Politician of the Year Awards 2017 will tonight be profiled in a special end-of-year edition of Sharp End, on ITV Wales at 10.45pm.

The hour-long programme, presented by Owain Phiilps, will also review a momentous and turbulent year in Welsh politics with the General Election, Brexit and tragic events at the Welsh Assembly dominating the headlines.

The programme pays tribute to Rhodri Morgan and Carl Sargeant, who both died in 2017.

The winners of the 13th annual Welsh Politician of the Year Awards are:

  • Welsh Politician of the Year: Mark Drakeford

The judges were greatly impressed by the Cardiff West AM’s mastery of a vast portfolio, with Brexit negotiations added to financial responsibilities talks, which included the introduction of a new Welsh tax regime.

  • AM of the Year: Eluned Morgan

Eluned Morgan with her award. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The judges recognised the Mid and West Wales AM’s campaigning on Brexit and her proposals to boost the economy of rural Wales and ensure that it doesn’t get left behind by the new city regions.

  • MP of the Year: Carolyn Harris

Carolyn accepted her award with the same enthusiasm that she brought to her campaigns. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Three major campaigns by the Swansea East MP, to end child burial fees, on women’s pension inequality and for a crackdown of fixed odds betting machines, secured this award.

  • Politician to Watch: Ben Lake

Ben Lake receives his award from Owain Phillips Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The judges saluted his narrow and unexpected General Election victory in Ceredigion, a constituency where the quality of the candidate still makes a real difference to a party’s chances.

Irfon Williams, who died in May, with his wife Becky Credit: Daily Post
  • People's Campaigner: Irfon Williams

The prize for achievements outside professional politics is awarded posthumously to cancer treatment campaigner Irfon Williams. Mr Williams, who died aged 46 in May after a lengthy battle with cancer, set up his campaign for better access to cancer drugs in Wales.

Becky Williams received her late husband's award from Adrian Masters Credit: ITV Wales

In tonight’s Sharp End, Irfon's widow, Becky Williams, receives the trophy in his memory and talks about her husband's campaigning.

The judging panel comprised:

  • Chair: Geraint Talfan Davies (Former Chairman of Welsh National Opera and former broadcasting executive

  • Auriol Miller (Director, Institute of Welsh Affairs)

  • Valerie Livingston (Public Affairs consultant)

  • Meilyr Ceredig (MD of marketing agency Four Cymru)

  • Nick Powell (Head of Politics, ITV Wales)

  • Adrian Masters (Political Editor, ITV Wales)

  • Catrin Jones (Journalist, ITV Wales).

Sharp End 2017: an Unprecedented Year is on tonight at 10.45pm on ITV Cymru Wales.