Michael Foot, who died in 2010, chaired the prize jury just three years after stepping down as leader of the Labour Party following a crushing defeat in the 1993 general election. He remained an MP.

Foot was simultaneously a successful and unsuccessful politician: he served in Harold Wilson’s government and led the party from 1980 to 1983, but he also saw some of his senior colleagues split to form the SDP - and he never won over the public. He was as famous for wearing a donkey jacket on Remembrance Day 1981 as for his stances against appeasement before the Second World War and EEC membership afterwards. Foot, lampooned as Worzel Gummidge, was nevertheless a man of high culture, whose own books included studies of Jonathan Swift and H.G. Wells.