SCOTLAND'S most prestigious political awards have issued a final call in the search for the country's most impressive and effective campaign of the last 12 months.

Nominations for the Public Campaigner category in The Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2022 close on September 30.

The Campaigner category is one of 11 included in the awards, which are presented to those who have shaped the political year and shown vital leadership in these exceptional times. 

Founded in 1999, the awards are the highlight of the political calendar and are supported by ScottishPower, Openreach and Aiir Networks.

Hosted by former BBC Scotland Political Editor and Herald columnist Brian Taylor, the evening is attended by key decision makers, commentators and opinion formers, and is an ideal way to make new contacts and renew acquaintances.

As well as being hugely enjoyable, it recognises the excellent work done at Holyrood and Westminster, and the politicians - at national and local level - at the heart of events.

This year's judging panel will be chaired by the Herald’s new editor Catherine Salmond.

As in previous years, we welcome nominations in the Public Campaigner of the Year Award.

When the ceremony was last held in 2019, before the Covid pandemic forced a suspension, the category was won by the British Heart Foundation Scotland for its “Nation of Lifesavers” campaign to ensure CPR is taught in all secondary schools.

Early nominations this year include the Back Off Scotland campaign for protest-free buffer zones at abortion clinics and groups helping to bring refugees from Ukraine to Scotland.

All submissions must be made by a week on Friday to be included.

As well as the Politician of the Year, the best debaters, community champions, promising MSPs, and the most savvy politicians on social media will be recognised at the ceremony at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on November 24.

Hamish Fraser, Aiir Networks Group Managing Director, said: “It is our pleasure to sponsor the Donald Dewar Debater of the Year Award again in 2022. 

“This category is important to us because we believe that honest debate is crucial to a healthy democracy, with its purpose being to share different points of view in a fair and honest way.  

“This is especially important in a landscape where truth is so easily obscured by noise.

“At Aiir Networks, our business is about connectivity and we’re hoping that the nominees can prove that they’ve been able to use the power of debate, not just to win, but to bring forth the facts of matters in ways that truly connect with people, ultimately so that they can make the choices that are informed and are therefore most relevant to them.”

Robert Thorburn, partnership director for Openreach Scotland, said: “The Local Politician of the Year award highlights the outstanding and often unsung work that goes on in communities across Scotland. 

“As the country’s national digital network, we work closely with MSPs in every part of Scotland and understand the many challenges that affect different areas, whether urban or rural. We also witness just how hard they, and their dedicated teams, work on behalf of those communities.  

“The award is a great way to recognise those political leaders who’ve shown exceptional commitment to their communities in the last year.”

To discuss the Public Campaigner category, please contact Nina Holmes, Events Manager, on 0141 302 6138 or email nina.holmes@newsquest.co.uk