SNP backbencher Fergus Ewing has been named MSP of the Year at a political awards bash.

The outspoken party rebel scooped the award at Holyrood magazine’s annual Political Awards, as Baroness Helena Kennedy, a Labour peer, took home the Lifetime Achievement award.

Ewing has frequently made the headlines in recent months due to his opposition to the Bute House Agreement and dubbing the Scottish Greens "wine bar revolutionaries".

He also recently joined the Tories in signing a letter to the First Minister calling for a pause to the short-term lets licensing scheme. 

The event was held at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens on Thursday, with Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross reportedly mocked by one of his own MSPs, Maurice Golden, in front of scores of guests.

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Golden took home the Green Giant Award, for the second year in a row, while Mairi McAllan, Net Zero Secretary, was named One to Watch.

Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar shared runner-up for MSP for the Year.

Tory MSP Russell Findlay and Scottish Labour’s Paul O’Kane were named runners up in the One to Watch category, while Gillian Mackay and Colin Smyth, and Willie Rennie and Alex Cole-Hamilton came second in the Green Giant Award.

Donald Cameron, Scottish Tories constitution spokesperson, won speech of the year, with runners-up fellow Tory Jamie Greene and Scottish Labour’s Michael Marra.

The National:

LibDem Liam McArthur won Tweet of the Day, with Tories Stephen Kerr and Douglas Ross sharing runner-up.

Scottish Tory Liam Kerr won flushable motion of the year, with Stephanie Callaghan and McArthur in second place, while Political Hero of the Year went to SNP MSP Michelle Thomson.

Rachael Hamilton, for the Tories, shared runner-up with SNP MSP Ash Regan.

Meanwhile, SNP group leader Stephen Flynn won Best Scot at Westminster, with LibDem Wendy Chamberlain sharing runner-up with Scottish Secretary Alister Jack.

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Scottish Labour’s Paul Sweeney won Backbencher of the Year, with Tories Findlay and Greene in joint second place.

Elsewhere, SNP MSP Ivan McKee won the Business of Politics Award, with Sarwar and joint Highland Green Freeport MSPs and MPs as runners-up.

The judging panel was chaired by editor Mandy Rhodes, with Kieran Andrews, Scottish political editor at The Times, top pollster Sir John Curtice, and Kate Forbes among others picking the winners.

On her lifetime achievement award, Kennedy (below) said: “I am really delighted to receive this award. Made in Scotland runs through me like the letters in a stick of rock and gave me my values.

The National:

“I have loved doing work that retains my strong links with Scotland like the report on misogyny, or the one on refugees’ welfare during the Covid crisis or being in the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls.

“I am also a great fan of Holyrood magazine, which keeps people like me at Westminster abreast of political currents and policy developments in Scotland as well as the gossip. So, a huge thank you from my heart for this award. I am truly honoured.”

Rhodes added: “These awards are never about currying favour but all about recognising the role that all our politicians play in running the country.  And also, about retaining a sense of fun.”