Highland MP beats Cowell and Clegg in GQ’s most influential list
HIGHLAND MP Danny Alexander has been named the 18th most influential man in Britain – higher than Simon Cowell and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
Mr Alexander was placed in the top 20 of the 100 most influential men in the country which has been published in the January issue of the magazine GQ.
A panel of national figures like entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Sir Philip Green drew up the annual list which provides the "definitive countdown on the men who really run Britain".
The Inverness, Nairn, Strathspey and Badenoch Lib Dem MP became a key member of the UK Government following last year’s general election which saw his party enter into a coalition with the Conservatives.
The 39-year-old chief secretary to the Treasury is universally underestimated according to the upmarket men’s magazine, which sells more than 76,000 copies a month.
GQ writes he is derided in Westminster circles by his political detractors for coming to power despite only being a former press officer for the Cairngorm National Park, but is in a strong position supporting the chancellor.
"As chief secretary, he is in direct control of the Government’s deficit-reduction, and as George Osborne’s de facto deputy, his voice carries serious weight in cabinet," the magazine writes.
GQ also highlights Mr Alexander’s role as the Lib Dems’ chief strategist and says he is charged with finding a way to ward off an "electoral massacre" at the local government elections next year and the general election in 2015 because of the party’s widely criticised role in the coalition administration.
The magazine names the UK’s most influential man as London Mayor Boris Johnson ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron, who came second.
Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg is 16 places below Mr Alexander at number 34 while the multimillionaire creator of the X Factor television show, Simon Cowell, is ranked 24th.
The Highland MP is also judged to be more influential than Labour leader Ed Miliband who appears on the list at number 59.
Mr Alexander welcomed the high placing but took it with a pinch of salt.
"It’s very kind of GQ to recognise my work, but to coin a phrase it’s not how influential you are that counts, but what you use your influence for," he said.
"It’s enormously important that we continue to do the right things for the Highlands and for the country as a whole."