Even by recent standards, 2019 was an eventful year in Westminster. It began with deadlock in Parliament and it was unclear whether we would ever leave the EU, and ended with a Brexit breakthrough, a new prime minister, and even a general election – with mass defections, serial resignations and all the usual machinations along the way. So, it was perhaps with a sense of relief that politicians headed to The Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year awards tonight, to toast the politicians who made an impact, and celebrate that the year is finally over.
The guest of honour at tonight’s awards was the indefatigable ex-Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who started the proceedings off by gently ribbing the former Chancellor Phillip Hammond, noting that ‘given his reputation for being able to rain on any parade, suck the oxygen out of the room and put a dampener on things, civil contingencies are about to deploy him to Australia’.
While Nigel Farage, when accepting the award for disruptor of the decade, assured the Westminster village that ‘unless this Government drops the ball, and I don’t think it will, you will never, ever see me again’.
Here are a selection of photographs from the event, courtesy of Alan Chapman and Anne Schwarz: