Six suggestions for Briton of the year who are not Nigel Farage

Independent Journalists@dinarickman
Saturday 27 December 2014 16:00

Nigel Farage has been named Briton of the year by The Times (£).

Their reasoning? "By any account 2014 has been a stellar year for Ukip and its leader. After more than two decades on the fringes, the party has finally bulldozed its way into the political mainstream, led from the front by Mr Farage."

A fair point but on Twitter the choice has prompting strong reactions, with some reminiscent of when the BBC chose a panda as their woman of the year in 2011.

Here are some other possible contenders for the title, none of whom are politicians ...

1. Stephen Sutton

Stephen Sutton was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 15 and died in May 2014, age 19. By the end of his short but extraordinary life, he had raised more than £3m - a total which has risen to £5m since his passing.

2. William Pooley

After British nurse William Pooley survived Ebola he flew straight back to Sierra Leone, the country where he caught the virus, to continue to help fight the epidemic.

"The real emergency is in West Africa, and the teams out there need all the support we can give them," the 29-year-old said.

3. Errol McKellar

Errol McKellar runs a garage in Hackney. He’s also survived prostate cancer, which affects about one in eight men.

Determined to help others, he began offering discounts to customers who went for a cancer check. So far, 23 men he has helped have found out they did have the disease.

4. Maisy Vignes

Maisy, 4, was born without a drop of blood in her body but has gone on to make a full recovery and has just started school. Her blood supply had been entirely absorbed into the body of her mother, Emma, who had to have a Caesarean section six weeks early after it was feared her baby could be brain damaged. She has now become the topic of lectures and journal articles.

5. Eniola Aluko

Eniola Aluko is Match of the Day's first female pundit. The show has been running for 50 years.

6. Fahma Mohamed

17-year-old activist Fahma Mohamed is committed to fighting female genital mutilation (FGM). She was honoured at this year's Good Housekeeping Women of the Year Awards, so why not Briton of the year too?