The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been awarded a ‘clanger’ award at the Roses Media Awards, following his jibe at 80-year-old Labour MP, Dennis Skinner.

In April, The Prime Minister replied to a question from the veteran MP with the terse response: "Well, the honourable gentleman has the right, at any time, to take his pension and I advise him to do so." The response, following an earlier labeling of Dennis Skinner as ‘a dinosaur’, has bagged David Cameron the ‘Thorn’ award which aims to expose the worst example of stereotyping, factual error or misleading information regarding older people.

The suitably entitled ‘Thorn’ award was one of 10 awards - the remainder of which recognised and rewarded positive portrayals of older people or sensitively highlighted the issues they face.

David Cameron was aware of his shortlisting for this year’s ‘Thorn’ but declined his invitation to attend the glittering awards ceremony, which was hosted by the older people’s charity Independent Age and sponsored by care provider Barchester Healthcare, to collect his award.

Explaining the judges’ decision, Gransnet editor and Roses chair of judges, Geraldine Bedell, said: “Our decision had nothing to do with party politics. The issue is that no one should make an assumption about a person’s ability based solely on their age, and age should certainly not be the basis for an insult.”

David Cameron’s ageist faux pas saw him beat off the completion from the category’s other finalists: Rowan Atkinson, who was nominated for his claim that the creative industries should be exempt from age discrimination legislation, and David Birch for a piece in Financial World magazine, in which he wrote about “a much wider problem in society, which is that older people can vote .”

The event, which took place in London’s Geological Society on Piccadilly was a true celebration of the best examples of coverage, across all media, concerning older people’s issues from news reporting, through to photojournalism and the best portrayals of older people in films or TV drama.

For a full list of the night’s winners, visit our website:

For media inquiries, contact Rebecca Law on 020 7605 4291 or email

Notes to editor

What are the Roses?

Organised by Independent Age and Barchester Healthcare, The Roses set out to celebrate the best examples of coverage, across all media concerning older people’s issues, from news reporting, through to photojournalism and the best portrayals of older people in films or TV drama.

Why the Roses?

The Older People in the Media Awards, or, the Roses, have been named after Rose Hacker, the inspirational lady who got her first job in journalism with the Camden New Journal at the age of 100. Rose died in 2008, aged 101.

About Independent Age

Independent Age is a unique and growing charity, providing information, advice and support to thousands of older people across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It has recently merged with two other older people's charities, Counsel and Care and Universal Beneficent Society, to provide a broader range of services than any of the charities could provide separately. For more information visit:

Speak to one of our advisers for free and confidential advice and information on home care, care homes, going into hospital and other related issues. Lines are open Monday to Friday between 10am - 4pm. Call 0845 262 1863 (local call rate) or email

About Barchester Healthcare

Founded in 1992, Barchester Healthcare is recognised as a UK major care provider that is committed to delivering high quality care. The organisation has adapted and grown, from one that focused on older people needing nursing care in high quality environments, to providing personalised support for adults of all ages with a range of disabilities.

At Barchester Healthcare we pride ourselves on our dedicated dementia care. Our Memory Lane Communities are designed to encourage people living with dementia to stay as independent and active as possible. We understand that no two people are the same and take a person-centred care approach, recognising and celebrating each person's individuality.

Barchester employs almost 17, 000 people to care for more than 10,000 residents at more than 220 locations in the UK and is the only care provider listed in The Sunday Times Top 25 Big Companies To Work For 2011.

For more information, please visit

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