The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Parliamentary Book Awards 2020 shortlist announced

01/02/2021
The shortlist for the 2020 Parliamentary Book Awards, the only political book awards voted for by parliamentarians, has been unveiled today, including titles by David Lammy, broadcaster Iain Dale, former Sheffield Mayor Magid Magid, broadcaster and journalist Helen Lewis, and The Secret Barrister. 

Now in its fifth year, the Parliamentary Book Awards were launched by the Booksellers Association and the Publishers Association in 2016 to champion the best of political writing and recognise the important link between politics and the book world.

The awards celebrate parliamentary writing across three categories: Best Biography, Memoir, or Autobiography by a Parliamentarian; Best Non-Biographical Book by a Parliamentarian; and Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian.

Parliamentary Book Awards 2020 Shortlist:

Best Biography, Memoir or Autobiography by a Parliamentarian 
⦁    Ernest Bevin; Labour's Churchill by Andrew Adonis (Biteback)
⦁    Long Way Home: Love, life, death, and everything in between by Dan Jarvis (Little, Brown/Hachette)
⦁    Ayes & Ears: A Survivor's Guide to Westminster by David Amess (Luath Press)

Best Non-Biographical Book by a Parliamentarian
⦁    The Art of Disruption: A Manifesto For Real Change by Magid Magid (Bonnier)
⦁    The Glamour Boys: The Secret Story of the Rebels who Fought for Britain to Defeat Hitler by Chris Bryant (Bloomsbury)
⦁    Tribes: A Search for Belonging in a Divided Society by David Lammy (Constable/Hachette)

Best Political Book by a Non-Parliamentarian 
⦁    Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies by The Secret Barrister (Pan Macmillan/Picador) 
⦁    The Prime Ministers: 55 Leaders, 55 Authors, 300 Years of History by Iain Dale (Hodder/Hachette)
⦁    Difficult Women, A History of Feminism in 11 Fights by Helen Lewis, (Vintage/PRH)

Publishers were invited to nominate titles and authors for the awards, with booksellers selecting the shortlists. Voting is now open for parliamentarians to decide the winner in each category.

The award winners will be announced on 12th March 2021. 

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, said: “The Parliamentary Book Awards celebrate the excellence and variety of political writing, and this shortlist certainly reflects these qualities. With books on feminist history, community activism, political tribalism and more, the shortlist demonstrates the range of subjects encompassed by political writing. We look forward to seeing which titles the parliamentarians vote for when the winners are announced in March.”

Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said: "The Parliamentary Book Awards were created to celebrate brilliant political writing and this year's shortlist offers us that in abundance. Between them, the books on this shortlist shine a light on some of the lesser-remembered figures in our political history, give insight into the inner-workings of Westminster, offer inspiration, and address the most important issues of our age - equality and polarisation.

"The announcement of this year’s winners will be held online which will allow more people to share in our celebrations of these important books, their authors, publishers and booksellers.”


The 2019 awards saw an eclectic range of titles emerge victorious, with winners including How to be Right: In A World Gone Wrong by broadcaster James O’Brien, MP Rachel Reeves’ history of female Parliamentarians Women of Westminster: The MPs who Changed Politics, and Ian Murray’s This is Our Story: How the Fans Kept Their Hearts Beating, the story of a group of Scottish football fans who saved their club from financial ruin.