Page last updated at 08:48 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

John Swinney named Scottish politician of the year

John Swinney
Mr Swinney was praised for his role in combating recession

Finance Secretary John Swinney has been named the Scottish Politician of the Year at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Mr Swinney was presented with The Herald newspaper accolade for his role in dealing with the recession and delivering a "council tax freeze".

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy was named Best Scot at Westminster for "taking the fight" to the SNP.

Conservative MSP Gavin Brown was named the One to Watch, with judges impressed by his authority in debates.

Mr Swinney said he and fellow nominees Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill and Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon had to take "very big decisions all of the time" as government ministers.

He told guests: "It is our privilege and our responsibility to do that.

"But we do it, and I think this is one of the things that is so important about the way we take our decisions, is that we do that in a way in which we support each other as a cabinet and as a team of ministers.

"For me that is the most precious thing about serving in the SNP government - that spirit of working together, of mutual support and working together to make sure our government delivers for the people of Scotland."

Mr Swinney was also named Donald Dewar debater of the year.

The evening also included the first award for Councillor of the Year, which was won by Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell for his role in delivering the Commonwealth Games to the city and a guaranteed "living wage" to thousands of Glasgow workers.

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