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    Parliamentary Beard Of The Year 2013 Shortlist Unveiled

    Which MP has the best bristles?

    The Beard Liberation Front has unveiled the shortlist for the 2013 Parliamentary Beard of the Year.

    The competition, which is open to beard wearers from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, is one of the most important awards of the parliamentary year.

    The award is designed to highlight politicians "who have given beards a positive image in the public eye during the year".

    We're thinking about running a vote but are worried people will be voting for party political reasons. It's not about parties, it's about beards.
    Yesterday Cameron said he couldn't even grow a moustache - I don't think that's strictly true, I think it's that he couldn't be arsed.

    Here's the 10 nominees for Parliamentary Beard of the Year.

    1. David Anderson MP, Labour.

    Creative Commons / Flickr / Via Flickr: 551

    The honourable member for Blaydon is trying to hide his facial hair in this picture. Don't be so shy, David!

    2. Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour.

    Creative Commons / Flickr / lewishamdreamer / Via Flickr: lewishamdreamer

    The left-wing member for Islington North postively bristles with anger at the government's policies. Corbyn has the beard to beat as a FOUR TIMES winner of the award.

    Flett tells us: "The reason Jeremy wins is that he occasionally speaks up on hirsute matters in parlaiment - he is very pro-beard. There are some serious issues that appear from time-to-time."

    3. Paul Flynn MP, Labour.

    Another unashamed socialist, the MP for Newport West has no need to indulge in Movember frippery.

    4. George Galloway MP, Respect.

    Flickr / Creative Commons / DavidMartynHunt / Via

    Coming straight out of Bradford West, Galloway is one of the most stylish men in the Commons and is rarely seen without a well-cut suit. But are these Savile Row-quality whiskers?

    5. Lord Harris, Labour. / Via

    Baron Harris of Haringey is certainly going for it with this beard. But we're not sure whether he couldn't do with a little trim around the edges?

    6. Kelvin Hopkins MP, Labour.

    Wikimedia / Via

    Reserved and well-trimmed, the member for Luton North doesn't want to make a fuss about his beard.

    7. Dr Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat.

    Julian Huppert / Via

    University lecturer. One of the few people in the Commons who has a clue about science. Supporter of real ale pubs. We'd be dissapointed if the MP for Cambridge didn't have facial hair.

    Flett tells us: "The Lib Dems have got the rising star of hirsuteness in Julian Huppert - it's a very modern, almost hipster beard."

    8. John Randall MP, Conservative.

    Flying Colours / Getty Images

    The only Tory on the list, Randall is a no-nonsence rugby-loving former whip who represents Uxbridge. Last year's joint winner and our bet as this year's dark horse.

    9. John Spellar, Labour.

    Flickr / Creative Commons / Jon Tandy / Via Flickr: 36100888@N07

    The former minister and MP for Warley has one of the bushiest beards on this year's list. But does quantity equate to quality?

    10. John Thurso, Liberal Democrat.

    Flickr / Creative Commons / UK Parliament / Via Flickr: uk_parliament

    The Eton-educated 3rd Viscount Thurso gave up his hereditary title to become a mere member of parliament for Caithness and Sutherland. But his aristocratic facial hair more than makes up for this loss of status. Although we did prefer him when he went for a twiddly tache.

    Flett tells us: "Thurso continues to have fantastic weather-releated beards."

    I'd hope that they use it to promote the cause of hirsuteness. Given the rise of beards in the general population, with hipsters and all that, there should be more hirsute men in parliament. But Labour doesn't have the obsession that it once did have around it. At the moment you couldn't say there's a young successor to Jeremy Corbyn making his way up.

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