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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 15:40 GMT
Oliver wins Ch 4 political award
Jamie Oliver serving some children
Jamie Oliver publicised healthier eating in schools
Television chef Jamie Oliver has been voted "most inspiring political figure" of the year in the wake of his campaign to improve school meals.

More than 14,000 people voted for Mr Oliver in the Channel 4 political awards, with Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti in second place.

Viewers were asked to choose from a shortlist which also included Tony Blair, Bob Geldof and David Cameron.

Respect MP George Galloway, just out of the Big Brother house, came third.

'He shamed us all'

Ministers promised an extra 280m to improve school meals in England after Mr Oliver's School Dinners television show and nationwide petition.

MOST INSPIRING POLITICIAL FIGURE VOTE
Jamie Oliver: 37%
Shami Chakrabarti: 21%
George Galloway: 16%
Bob Geldof: 10%
David Cameron: 9%
Tony Blair: 7%

One viewer who voted for him to win the award said: "It might be fashionable to say Jamie shamed the government into acting, but what he did was shame us all about accepting second-best for our children.

"He showed that with hard work, some care and pride in what you do, that we can achieve a lot and chucking money at problems is often not the solution."

Ms Chakrabarti won recognition after a high profile year campaigning against identity cards and parts of the government's anti-terrorism plans, such as detaining terror suspects for up to 90 days without trial.

And Mr Galloway's third place follows his performance before the US Senate Committee to deny claims that he profited from Iraqi oil.

Other award winners were chosen by judges rather than audience votes, with Hilary Benn beating Mr Cameron, Gordon Brown and Michael Howard to the "politicians' politician" award.

Tory shadow attorney-general Dominic Grieve followed up his recent Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year award by winning the opposition politician title.

Other winners were:

  • Campaigning politician: Tory frontbencher Chris Grayling

  • Rising star: New Conservative MP Michael Gove

  • Peer of the year: Labour's Baroness Ashton

  • Political book: Leo McInstry's Rosebery

  • Political comedy: Private Eye

  • "Opening up politics" award: BBC One's This Week programme




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