The 2017 prize-giving ceremony was held on the evening of Tuesday 16 May 2017 at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in Piccadilly. The prize was presented to the winner, Professor Patrick Minford, by the journalist, Sir Simon Jenkins.
Leading economist, Professor Patrick Minford, won the 2017 Contrarian Prize. The prize recognises individuals in British public life that put their head above the parapet on grounds of principle and demonstrate independence, courage and sacrifice.
Minford was one of a handful of respected economists to back Brexit. His penchant for breaking ranks with his academic contemporaries dates back to his support for the monetarist policies espoused by Margaret Thatcher in 1983. He founded “Economists for Brexit” arguing that many of his colleagues had “deliberately rigged” their assumptions to generate apocalyptic predictions of economic collapse. He argued that Brexit would expand trade and that Britain could interact with the EU under WTO rules whilst benefitting from lower consumer prices and less regulation.
The prize was presented by columnist and former editor of the Times and Evening Standard, Sir Simon Jenkins, at an eclectic gathering of leading individuals from multiple fields including finance, business, law, the media, politics, the charitable sector, the arts, academia and dance music, at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in Piccadilly.
"I am delighted to have received this prestigious prize. I have always championed what I have believed in” said Minford.
The prize, symbolised in the form of a stunning sculpture entitled the “Three Politicians”, was produced by the renowned pop artist, Mauro Perucchetti. The founder of the prize, Ali Miraj, 42, said, “We had scores of nominations again this year. Patrick Minford has gone against the grain and displayed independence of thought by breaking ranks with the majority of the academic establishment to advocate a different view on Brexit and won the argument”. (You can read his speech here).
The Contrarian Prize is not backed by any large corporates or foundations. It is funded by a small number of private individuals who believe that recognising those that stand up for their beliefs is important.
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