Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon enjoyed a night of triumph at the 10th Scottish Politician of the Year Awards last night.

The Deputy First Minister won not only the top accolade as Scottish Politician of the Year, presented by The Herald, but also scooped the award of Donald Dewar Debater of the Year, sponsored by eaga, for the strength of her performances in one of Holyrood's most challenging briefs.

The Glasgow MSP has also performed strongly when standing in at First Minister's Questions and capped an outstanding year by working at the heart of the SNP's victory in the Glasgow East by-election.

The annual ceremony, at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, was hosted by Michael Crow of STV and Kirsten Campbell of the BBC, with the awards being presented by leading figures from the worlds of literature, screen and sport.

The International Scot award, initiated last year, was given to Sir Sean Connery, the Oscar-winning actor who has used his position as the world's best-known Scotsman to advance the cause of his nation at every opportunity.

Chancellor Alistair Darling won the Best Scot at Westminster award for his handling of the economic and banking crisis, while Fife MSP John Park, still celebrating his central role in Labour's Glenrothes by-election campaign last week, took the award as The One to Watch.

Glasgow's veteran Tory MSP Bill Aitken was honoured with the Committee award for his masterful convenership of Holyrood's powerful Justice Committee.

SNP MSP Chris Harvie won the Free Spirit award for his colourful interventions on issues such as the demise of small town high streets, while Lord Wallace of Tankerness, former Scottish LibDem leader who served for six years as Deputy First Minister, was given a Lifetime Achievement award for his pivotal role in the devolution project.

Clydeside Action on Asbestos was named Public Campaign of the Year in recognition of its achievements in changing the law to help those afflicted by asbestos-related diseases.