Backbench honour nod

Natascha Engell MP
Natascha Engell MP

A PARLIAMENT honour could be scooped by an local politician.

North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel has been nominated, by colleagues and Peers, for the ‘Backbencher of the Year Award’ from Parliament publication The House Magazine.

Her work as the first chairman of The Backbench Business Committee – where backbench MPs turn when they want a debate but the Government refuses them time – led to the nod.

“I am surprised and thrilled”, said Ms Engel.

“It is a real honour to be chosen by the people I work with. I wanted to help them represent their constituents and get their issues debated in parliament.”

Ms Engel was elected to committee chairman after saying she wanted it to meet in public, rather than decide which topics would be debated in private.

Her nomination said she was chosen “for quickly establishing the Backbench Business Committee and making it a serious and substantial part of Commons life”.

Apprenticeships, discarded fish, blood donations and many other topics have been debated thanks to the committee. Award winners will be announced in July.