Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Sturgeon named politician of year

Nicola Sturgeon
Ms Sturgeon won two awards at the 10th annual ceremony

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has been named Scottish Politician of the Year.

Ms Sturgeon, who is also deputy first minister, said she was "honoured" to pick up the accolade at The Herald newspaper's ceremony in Edinburgh.

She beat competition from fellow nominees First Minister Alex Salmond, who was last year's winner, and Finance Secretary John Swinney.

Ms Sturgeon also received the Donald Dewar Debater of the Year award.

Accepting the award for her performance at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said: "The Scottish Parliament is full of good debaters, so this is a great honour."

It has been one of my greatest joys to see Scotland walking tall in recent years
Sir Sean Connery

In other categories, Chancellor Alistair Darling was named the Best Scot at Westminster for his handling of the economic and banking crisis.

Mr Darling was unable to attend the ceremony as he was travelling to Washington for the G20 summit, but said he was "deeply honoured" to receive the award.

The International Scot award, which was introduced last year, went to Sir Sean Connery, who had faced competition from triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy and Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag.

Sir Sean, who was also unable to attend the ceremony, said: "Thank you for this honour. It has been one of my greatest joys to see Scotland walking tall in recent years."

In other categories, Fife MSP John Park took the award as the One to Watch, while Glasgow's veteran Conservative MSP Bill Aitken was honoured with the committee award for his convenership of Holyrood's justice committee.

SNP MSP Chris Harvie won the Free Spirit award and former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Lord Wallace of Tankerness was given a lifetime achievement award for his pivotal role in the devolution project.

Public campaign of the year went to Clydeside Action on Asbestos in recognition of its achievements in changing the law to help those afflicted by asbestos-related diseases.

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