The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Parliamentary Book Awards Winners Announced

22/02/2023
Sebastian Payne’s The Fall of Boris Johnson, Baroness Floella Benjamin’s What Are You Doing Here? And Michael Ashcroft’s In the Shadows have been named as the best political books of the year at the Parliamentary Book Awards in a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament this evening.
 
The winners beat others to the award including Matt Hancock, Stu Hennigan, Marina Hyde, Owen Matthews, Lisa Nandy, Simon McDonald and Andrea Leadsom.
 
Journalist and director of think tank Onward Sebastian Payne received Best Political Book by a Non-Parliamentarian for The Fall of Boris Johnson: The Full Story, an account of the downfall of Boris Johnson which lurches from the Owen Paterson affair to Partygate and the Chris Pincher allegations in a narrative of inexorable collapse and catastrophe.
 
Member of the House of Lords and children’s television presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin won Best Biography, Memoir or Autobiography for What Are You Doing Here?: My Autobiography, which recounts her journey from arriving in Britain as a child as part of the Windrush generation, to her status as queen of children’s television and subsequent damehood and peerage.
 
Michael Ashcroft, former treasurer and deputy chairman of the Conservative party, was awarded Best Non-Fiction book by a Parliamentarian for In The Shadows: The extraordinary men and women of the Intelligence Corps which tells the astonishing stories of some of its most courageous and ingenious figures, who have operated all over the world from the First World War to the present day.
 
This year’s winners were selected from a shortlist featuring books by former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom, Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for levelling up, housing and communities Lisa Nandy, prominent political journalists including Marina Hyde, writer and historian Owen Matthews, writer and poet Stu Hennigan and former diplomat Simon McDonald.
 
Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, said: “A tumultuous year in Westminster politics has produced an eclectic set of winning titles; from describing the extraordinary men and women who served in the Intelligence Corps, to a brilliant portrayal of the very public psychodrama of the Boris Johnson years. And I’m delighted so see Baroness Benjamin winning with her autobiography which is also very much the story of Black Britain from the 1960s to more recent times.”

Dan Conway, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said: “A huge congratulations to this year’s winners. These books demonstrate the breadth of political writing in the UK and shed light on some of the most important moments and issues in recent history. The link between publishing and politics is longstanding and we are delighted to once again welcome parliamentarians, authors, publishers, and booksellers to the Houses of Parliament to celebrate these important works.”

Now in their seventh year, the Parliamentary Book Awards were established by the Booksellers Association and the Publishers Association to champion the best political writing in the UK and to recognise the important link between the worlds of politics and publishing. The only political book awards curated by bookshops and voted for by parliamentarians, previous winners have included Mark Carney, Penny Mordaunt MP, Andrew Mitchell MP, Harriet Harman MP, Nick Clegg, Baroness Jowell, Iain Dale, and James O’Brien.
 
The award ceremony returned to the Houses of Parliament this year, and featured speeches from Booksellers Association Vice President Debbie James and Kibworth Books.