Salmond is politician of the year

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Alex Salmond has been named politician of the year at The Herald’s Scottish Politician of the Year awards.  The SNP leader was awarded the title in recognition of his party’s stunning May 5th election landslide victory.

Jonathan Russell, editor-in-chief of the Herald & Times Group, said: “The SNP’s overwhelming victory in May handed Alex Salmond more unchecked power than any of his three predecessors as First Minister were able to enjoy in their reigns as leaders of a coalition administration.”

Upon receiving the award, Mr Salmond praised his team for helping get the SNP re-elected.

Mr Salmond said: “Teamwork is perhaps the most important thing of all, in achieving political success, for a party, a country, a people. I’m privileged to lead such a strong team and I’m honoured to be elected First Minister and I’m delighted to receive this award.”

The Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, was named debater of the year, and Angus Robertson MP – who helped lead the campaign to re-elect the SNP Scottish Government – was named best Scot at Westminster.

Other awards included: best newcomer, Ruth Davidson, who took over the Tory Holyrood group leadership; Tory MSP Murdo Fraser, was recognised for causing the biggest political impact of the year suggesting the Tories disband and form a new centre-right party.

Councillor Michael Foxley, leader of Highlands Council, was awarded local government politician of the year.

The campaign to save RAF Lossiemouth won public campaign of the year, and in the same category there was also a posthumous award to Frank Maguire, the trade union rights solicitor who died this year.

Joe Quinn, former Scottish political editor of the Press Association, was given a lifetime achievement award.  He retired in January last year after more than three decades with the news agency.

A lifetime achievement award was awarded to former UK prime minister Gordon Brown for his contribution to political life.