British taxpayers vote for Mark Reckless MP and Ed Davey MP as their Pin-Up and Pinhead of the Year
Dec 2012 27

We can announce the winners of our public vote to identify British taxpayers’ “Pin-Up” and “Pinhead” of the Year.

Tory backbencher Mark Reckless MP can now revel in the title TaxPayers’ Alliance Pin-Up of the Year 2012 after securing 36.3 per cent of the votes in the four-way contest. He was nominated for having successfully tabled the amendment to a parliamentary motion which saw the House of Commons demand a cut in the European Union Budget.

Meanwhile, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey MP has been anointed TPA Pinhead of the Year for 2012 after winning the support of 42.4 per cent of the voting public. He was nominated for having increased the staff headcount at his Department every quarter over the last year, when ministers ought to have been reducing the burden on the taxpayer by decreasing the size of the public sector; and for pursuing a variety of “green” policies which are punishing already hard-pressed families.

Votes were cast online in the ten days running up to Christmas Eve and the full results were as follows:

Pin-Up of the Year

WINNER: Mark Reckless MP (Con, Rochester and Strood) – 36.3%


  • Stella Creasy MP (Lab, Walthamstow) – 26.3%
  • Cllr David Burbage (Con, Council Leader, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead) – 20.1%
  • Ben Gummer MP (Con, Ipswich) – 17.3%

Pinhead of the Year

WINNER: Ed Davey MP (Lib Dem, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) – 42.4%


  • Lord Patten of Barnes (Chairman of the BBC Trust) – 27.8%
  • Cllr David Parsons (Con, Former Leader, Leicestershire County Council) – 17.4%
  • Nadine Dorries MP (Con, Mid Bedfordshire) – 12.4%

Reacting to the results, Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who have sought to do the right thing by taxpayers.

“Taxpayers have never been angrier about the way the European Union continues to squander our money, and they won’t countenance anything but a cut in the EU Budget when national leaders come to an agreement in the New Year. So Mark Reckless MP makes a worthy Pin-Up for having forced a vote on the issue on the floor of the House of Commons which allowed his fellow MPs to demonstrate how strongly people feel about the matter. The fact that Mr Reckless was able to prove that a majority of MPs support a cut in the EU Budget should in fact bolster the Prime Minister’s negotiating position in Europe because it is now clear that even a freeze in the EU Budget – let alone a rise – could not be carried in the House of Commons.

“People also get angry when they see politicians being hypocritical or increasing their costs of living. Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, stands accused of both of these things. When the Government is rightly talking about the need for cuts to reduce the size of the public sector, it is astounding that Mr Davey has overseen yet further expansion of his own Whitehall department during the year. He also gets the Pinhead of the Year award for continuing to advocate a variety of policies – such as subsidies for renewable energy and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme – which are designed to help the environment but are in fact costing taxpayers dear through higher energy and fuel bills.

“Both our winners and the runners-up for these two awards all either acted in the best interests of taxpayers or showed a disregard for taxpayers’ cash over the last twelve months. All those in power can rest assured that over the coming year we at the TaxPayers’ Alliance will continue to assess their words and deeds and make sure that those deemed to be Pin-Ups or Pinheads are brought to the attention of the wider public.”

The full citations for the nominees were as follows:

Pin-Up of the Year

  • Cllr David Burbage (Con, Council Leader, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead) - for announcing a 1.5% cut in Council Tax for residents of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead in 2012-13 – the third successive year in which he has reduced the burden on local Council Tax payers
  • Stella Creasy MP (Lab, Walthamstow) - for outlining the need for politicians to look at the mounting government debt and ageing population and reassess every single item of departmental public spending, recommending that “everything should be on the table” at the next spending review
  • Ben Gummer MP (Con, Ipswich) - for his efforts to promote tax transparency, in particular for pushing the idea – adopted by the Government in the 2012 Budget – of an annual tax statement in which people get told how much they have paid in tax and how the Government has spent it
  • Mark Reckless MP (Con, Rochester and Strood) - for successfully tabling the amendment to a parliamentary motion which saw the House of Commons demand a cut in the European Union Budget

Pinhead of the Year

  • Ed Davey MP (Lib Dem, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change)- for increasing the staff headcount at the Department for Energy and Climate Change every quarter over the last year, when ministers ought to be reducing the burden on the taxpayer by decreasing the size of the public sector; and for pursuing a variety of “green” policies punishing already hard-pressed families
  • Nadine Dorries MP (Con, Mid Bedfordshire) - for leaving her constituents unrepresented in Parliament when she abandoned them to participate in I’m ACelebrity… Get Me Out of Here, where highlights included her eating ostrich anus on live TV before being the first participant to be voted out by the public
  • Lord Patten of Barnes (Chairman of the BBC Trust) - for agreeing, as Chairman of the BBC Trust, for George Entwistle to be given a pay-off of £450,000 after he quit as BBC Director General after 54 days in the job
  • Cllr David Parsons (Con, Former Leader, Leicestershire County Council) - for using Leicestershire County Council’s chauffeur-driven car to take him on no fewer than 202 official trips to London, at a cost of £280 per journey, when taking the train would have saved around £25,000 of taxpayers’ money

Jonathan is the Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and never tires of reminding people that there’s no such thing as government money - only taxpayers’ money.

  • Dizzy Ringo

    Is young Gummer related to Lord Debden – who is Chairman of the Future World Council?

  • Dizzy Ringo

    sorry – Lord Deben and World Future Council.

    It’s the shelebrashuns…………….

  • Orac54

    Though I have no time for Nadine Dorries, it is worth pointing out that in the last year she has attended more debates, voted more, and spoken more, than the Hon Member for Kirkaldy.

  • Kevin Ronald Lohse

    i have a sneaking regard for Nads, mainly because she is a true working-class conservative and a staunch supporter of the human rights of the unborn child. The class-hatred of the Left and and the anger of pro-abortionists at being challenged has brought her undeserved notoriety. She deserves much more support than she has received from the Posh-boy Cameroons.