True Colours: Parliamentarians Vote Clegg’s ‘How to Stop Brexit’ Their Book of the Year After Secret Ballot


MPs and Lords have voted Nick Clegg’s How to Stop Brexit the best non-fiction book by a parliamentarian published this year in a secret ballot.

The polemic by the former deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader argues that Brexit is a “historic mistake” and urges readers to fight the democratic decision of voters and keep Britain locked inside the European Union (EU).

Published by Bodley Head, it claims “there is nothing remotely inevitable about Brexit – except that it will be deeply damaging if it happens”.

“This is what happens when you have a secret ballot,” commented Alan Staton, head of marketing at the Booksellers Association, which runs the prize with the Publishers Association, with regard to Clegg’s win.

Bodley Head’s Stuart Williams, who received the award on Clegg’s behalf, told the Bookseller:

“Nick is thrilled to accept the award, he passes on his heartfelt thanks, he is really thrilled that his former colleagues in parliament are now listening to what he has to say more now than at any point in the 12 years that he worked here.”

Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the Publishers Association, said: “The role books play in shaping the political debate has never been more relevant and tonight’s winners serve to highlight this.”

Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers Association, added that the winners were “timely” and tackled “some of the major themes of the moment”.

116 parliamentarians voted for the winners in each category, choosing from lists compiled by bookshops.

Harriet Harman won the title of Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian for A Woman’s Work, and the widower of late Labour MP Jo Cox, Brendan, won Best Political Work by a Non-Parliamentarian for his portrait of his wife.

Shortlisted alongside Clegg’s book were War and the Death of News by former Tatton MP and broadcaster Martin Bell and Richard III by Cabinet Office minister Chris Skidmore.

Just over a month ago, Clegg travelled to Brussels with leading opponents of Brexit from the Tory and Labour parties to meet with European Commission officials.

Veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke, Clegg, and Labour Lord Andrew Adonis described themselves as “the rebels” as they arrived to meet chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

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