Reformer of the Year

I don’t get to blog much these days as I’m in the final weeks of my book deadline but I ought to mention that I recently received a very welcome piece of news: I won the title of Political Reformer of the Year 2009 after an online election held by the think-tank Reform.

I was lucky to be endorsed by several influential blogs including Guido Fawkes, Left Foot Forward (two sites unusually united), the Daily Telegraph’s Benedict Brogan, and Devil’s Kitchen,

Thanks to these bloggers and to everyone who voted. Here is the press release from Reform.

Heather Brooke is “Reformer of the Year” for MPs’ expenses work

Freedom of Information campaigner wins Reform poll in landslide

Heather Brooke, the Freedom of Information campaigner, has won a poll to find the Reformer of the Year for 2009. Ms Brooke, who was a pivotal figure in unveiling the MPs’ expenses scandal, won the title in a landslide, securing over a thousand of the 1,157 votes.

She played a leading role in the MPs’ expenses saga, winning a High Court case against the House of Commons for the full disclosure of second homes allowances. The ruling was the driving force behind the resulting reform of the Parliamentary expense system.

Entrants to the competition gave a wide variety of impassioned reasons for supporting Ms Brooke:

“She created a totemic symbol of the sort of low-level corruption and waste that will need to be eliminated across government, and proved that the best way to do this is exposure and transparency.”

“Without access to information we are completely stumped.”

“She was the prime mover in the campaign to implement the citizen taxpayers’ rights to Freedom of Information, in spite of the continued apathy of the citizen body.”

“Politics in Britain will never be the same again, it has been forcibly reformed. That’s why she’s clearly the Reformer of the Year: no contest.”

“She brought about the first real serious talk, albeit since forgotten about, of reform to our politics in decades. Others on the list deserve honourable mention but Heather stands out.”

“She had the guts and determination to see through what must have seemed like crawling up Everest. Well done indeed.”

The strength of the public reaction helped Heather Brooke to take an incredible 89% of the votes. Second place was awarded to Douglas Carswell, the reforming MP for Harwich and Clacton and author of The Plan, with third place going to Michael Gove, who plans a big shake-up of the schools system if the Conservatives win power next year.

Reform’s Director, Andrew Haldenby, said: “Heather has shown how transparency can reform Parliament. Now the whole public sector needs to be opened up in the same way, to tackle the real waste that lies at the heart of government.”

Reform is an independent, non-party, charitable think tank (registered charity the Reform Research Trust, no. 1103739) whose mission is to set out a better way to deliver public services and economic prosperity. We believe that by liberalising the public sector, breaking monopoly and extending choice, high quality services can be made available for everyone.

14 Responses to “Reformer of the Year”

  1. dp says:

    Well done, and I hope you’ll find the time to sit back and celebrate some of the accolades!

  2. Michael says:

    Congratulations Heather! The award is well deserved.

    I trust that you will continue working for transparancy. It is an uphill battle, and the hill is higher and steeper than Everest.

  3. Mike Law says:

    Congratulation Heather.

    An award that was very much earned by your hard work and diligence.

  4. Joe Baloney says:

    nice work!

  5. John L Bell says:

    Well deserved award, Heather!
    Congratulations! Don’t forget to tell us when the book is coming out!….. preferably before the next election!!!!

  6. Generalfeldmarschall says:

    Richly deserved.

  7. Congratulations on long overdue recognition of your pivotal role in outing critical truths!

  8. Linda says:

    Congratulations Heather, no person is more deserving than you. The Politicians are still clinging on to their expenses. Lets hope we can get a good clear out at the General Election!!

  9. Josef says:

    Totally groovy :-)!

    Rock on and well deserved!!

    V for Victory!!!!!

  10. Mike says:

    I would like to add my thanks. you have done us all a great service by prevailing over what must have seemed insuperable odds.

  11. I voted for you and am pleased you won as it was so rightly deserved.

    Congratulations! Have a quick drink to celebrate and next year, don’t let the so-and-so’s away with anything – keep on digging!

  12. CONGRATS Heather!!! Keep up the good work(s). More power to you!

  13. Anthony Plank says:

    Do they have an award for reformer of the century!

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