Stick press regulation ‘in the privy’, Boris Johnson tells editors

Mr Johnson was presenting awards at the Spectator’s annual Parliamentarian of the Year awards in central London.

Unusually the main award of Parliamentarian of the Year award – which is normally given to a single MP who had made a splash in Westminseter – was given to the 15 MPs who voted against Government plans for press regulation, including Charles Walker, Christopher Chope, Mark Reckless, Richard Bacon and Tracey Crouch.

The award was given to them for voting “against exemplary damages for those publications that did not sign up to the press regulation Royal Charter. These MPs defied the whip to vote in defence of liberty”.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the Ukip, won Insurgent of the Year, while Ed Miliband, the Labour leader won an award for best speech at last month’s party conference, which “transformed his political fortunes”.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was Politician of the Year, for presiding “over a fall in crime and immigration as well as managing the deportation of Abu Qatada. May’s win follows on from her award for Minister of the Year in 2012”.

Michael Fallon won minister of the year, for privatising the Royal Mail in the teeth of a national postal strike, “something even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare do and which Michael Heseltine and Peter Mandelson also failed to do”.

Tristram Hunt, the new shadow Education secretary, was Newcomer of the Year while Tory MP Robert Halfon was Campaigner of the Year.