Baroness Stowell, the Conservative peer who was in charge of guiding the same-sex marriage act through the House of Lords, has spoken of her gratitude at receiving a PinkNews Award.

Wednesday evening’s PinkNews Awards ceremony were held inside the State Rooms of Speaker’s House at the Palace of Westminster.

She was named joint Politician of the Year along with Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. A panel of judges selected the winners.

John Bercow, the Speaker of the Commons, heaped praise on both winners of the category.

Of Baroness Stowell, he said: “I’ve heard her speeches at a distance, watching the Lords on parliamentary television. And she is one dexterous and adroit performer. And the role that she played, not just in the speaking capacity, but in facilitating the smooth passage of the same-sex couples bill, through the House of Lords, is testament of the array of qualities that she brings to her work in the House of Lords. So Tina, thank you for being with us.”

Receiving her award, Baroness Stowell said: “I will just be brief because the Division Bell is about to go for the Commons members. I just want to make a couple of points. First to say that it was a huge privilege to be part of Maria Miller’s team in taking this bill through the Lords. And Maria is here, I wanted to pay tribute to her. Also, the rest of the ministerial team and also in the House of Lords, in particular, and I know it applied in the Commons, but even more so in the House of Lords, this was a real cross-party effort. And I made a lot of new friends by us all working together to this shared goal.”

She added: “But, I think the most important thing to say is that I think all of us who have come into politics, through whatever route, actually do so because we want to make people’s lives better. But, so rarely do we get the opportunity to actually be involved in a piece of legislation that actually, in my mind, should be called the “Makes People’s Lives Better Bill”. It was such a wonderful opportunity to be part it and to receive an award at the end of it, is not something that I expected or wanted, but I should cherish it always. But, none more so than being part of the legislation that has brought so much happiness and great difference to those who are directly affected by it. Thank you very much.”

David Cameron congratulated the Baroness, along with Conservative MP Mike Freer who won Parliamentary Speech of the Year. The Prime Minister tweeted:

Judges in the Politician of the Year category included:

Iain Dale, Presenter LBC

Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green

Tom Copley, London Assembly Member (Labour London wide)

Baroness Olly Grender

Anna Doble, Head of Online, Channel 4

Paris Lees, Columnist GT (Gay Times), Diva and the Independent

Simon Topham, Managing Director GT and Diva

Donna Halkyard, Head of Diversity, BAE Systems (Business network award)

Tom French, the Scottish Equality Network

Corinne Pinfold, former reporter, PinkNews, policy officer, School Leader Support Service

The PinkNews Awards event was generously supported by:-

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In association with:-

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