New Statesman success at Comment Awards

Peter Wilby named Media Commentator of the Year at Editorial Intelligence Awards.

There was success for the New Statesman at this morning's Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards, with Peter Wilby named Media Commentator of the Year. Wilby, a former NS editor, writes the First Thoughts column for the magazine as well as contributing features, including this brilliant portrait of Rupert Murdoch. You can read an archive of his work here.

New Statesman legal correspondent David Allen Green was shortlisted as Mainstream Media Blogger of the year but lost out to BBC Business Editor Robert Peston.

The Staggers would also like to congratulate Sunny Hundal of Liberal Conspiracy, who won the Independent Blogger award. It's a well-deserved honour and a reflection of the left-wing blogosphere's increasing energy and vibrancy.

Full list of winners:

Comment Pages: Financial Times

Best Online Comment Site: Mumsnet

Columnist of the Year: Hugo Rifkind

Commentariat of the Year: Matthew d'Ancona

Twitter Commentator: David Aaronovitch

Sports Commentator: Mike Atherton

Sketch Commentator: Ann Treneman

Political Commentator: Daniel Finkelstein

Economics Commentator: Irwin Stelzer

Media Commentator: Peter Wilby

David Pilling: Best Foreign Commentator

Best Cultural Commentator: Simon Kuper

Business Commentator: John Gapper

Mainstream Media Blogger: Robert Peston

Independent Blogger: Sunny Hundal

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Labour to strip "abusive" registered supporters of their vote in the leadership contest

The party is asking members to report intimidating behaviour - but is vague about what this entails. 

Labour already considered blocking social media users who describe others as "scab" and "scum" from applying to vote. Now it is asking members to report abuse directly - and the punishment is equally harsh. 

Registered and affiliated supporters will lose their vote if found to be engaging in abusive behaviour, while full members could be suspended. 

Labour general secretary Iain McNicol said: “The Labour Party should be the home of lively debate, of new ideas and of campaigns to change society.

“However, for a fair debate to take place, people must be able to air their views in an atmosphere of respect. They shouldn’t be shouted down, they shouldn’t be intimidated and they shouldn’t be abused, either in meetings or online.

“Put plainly, there is simply too much of it taking place and it needs to stop."

Anyone who comes across abusive behaviour is being encouraged to email validation@labour.org.uk.

Since the bulk of Labour MPs decided to oppose Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, supporters of both camps have traded insults on social media and at constituency Labour party gatherings, leading the party to suspend most meetings until after the election. 

In a more ominous sign of intimidation, a brick was thrown through the window of Corbyn challenger Angela Eagle's constituency office. 

McNicol said condemning such "appalling" behaviour was meaningless unless backed up by action: “I want to be clear, if you are a member and you engage in abusive behaviour towards other members it will be investigated and you could be suspended while that investigation is carried out. 

“If you are a registered supporter or affiliated supporter and you engage in abusive behaviour you will not get a vote in this leadership election."

What does abusive behaviour actually mean?

The question many irate social media users will be asking is, what do you mean by abusive? 

A leaked report from Labour's National Executive Committee condemned the word "traitor" as well as "scum" and "scab". A Labour spokeswoman directed The Staggers to the Labour website's leadership election page, but this merely stated that "any racist, abusive or foul language or behaviour at meetings, on social media or in any other context" will be dealt with. 

But with emotions running high, and trust already so low between rival supporters, such vague language is going to provide little confidence in the election process.