UK

Jane Merrick And Bex Bailey Named Among 'Silence Breakers' Awarded Time Person Of The Year 2017

Political journalist and Labour campaigner spoke out over sexual harassment at Westminster.

06/12/2017 12:36 GMT | Updated 06/12/2017 14:18 GMT

A British political journalist and a high-profile Labour Party campaigner have been listed among the ‘Silence Breakers’ - the group of women named Time Person of the Year 2017 for their “individual acts of courage” tackling sexual harassment. 

The magazine celebrated reporter Jane Merrick for speaking out about how Defence Secretary Michael Fallon had “lunged” at her in 2003, leading to his resignation from the Cabinet in November.  

She wrote for the Guardian: “He had violated what should have been a healthy working relationship, turning it into something seedy and unpleasant.” 

CNN
Reporter Jane Merrick spoke out about sexual harassment in Westminster 

Meanwhile, former Labour NEC member Bex Bailey was applauded after she revealed earlier this year that she was raped at a party event as a teenager, but was discouraged from reporting the assault

Labour launched an independent investigation into the claims after Bailey - who was 19 at the time of the alleged incident in 2011 - went public. 

She wrote on Twitter this afternoon following the news: “Proud to feature alongside these brave women for Time Person of the Year.

“Many more deserve recognition. Those unable to speak out yet are no less brave. Real change still needed.” 

Facebook Bex Bailey
Bex Bailey revealed she had been told to keep quiet after she was assaulted at a Labour Party event 

Merrick said she was “very proud” to be involved in the movement and to honour the women “who are unable to speak out”. 

According to Time, actions taken by ‘The Silence Breakers’ have led to the “biggest cultural reckoning” seen in decades. 

Actress Ashley Judd and singer Taylor Swift were both featured on the cover among a group of ‘ordinary’ women. 

While Judd went public with allegations about disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, triggering a huge out-pouring of claims against him, Swift took a radio DJ to court over a groping incident. 

Meanwhile Donald Trump - who won the award in 2016 - came in second for having “changed the very nature of the presidency”. Chinese President Xi Jinping was awarded third place. 

The magazine revealed a 10-person shortlist on Monday which included Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, last year’s winner Donald Trump, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.  

Trump claimed last month that the magazine told him he was the likely winner for the second consecutive year, which Time later disputed. 

“The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year,” a Time spokeswoman told CNN in a statement. “Time does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”

Since 1927, Time has identified the Person of the Year, recognising the person or group of people who most influenced the news during the past year.

The Shortlist:

Donald Trump - the US President won the award in 2016, but this year he’s made even more waves politically. 

Kim Jong Un - the Korean dictator has agitated the world with his nuclear weapons programme and got into several tit-for-tat spats with Trump. 

Robert Mueller - the man charged with investigating Russian efforts to influence the presidential election following the firing of FBI Director James Comey. 

Xi Jinping - the President of China was given a second five-year term this year. He was also written into the Communist Party’s constitution, achieving new authority.

Colin Kaepernick - the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback began the NFL’s national protest against racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, much to the displeasure of Trump. 

Jeff Bezos - the Amazon CEO became richest person in the world this year and his empire continues to grow. 

Patty Jenkins - the Wonder Women director became the first woman to direct a film that made more than $100 million in its opening weekend.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman -  the prince recently led a corruption crackdown on businessmen and members of the royal family. 

The Dreamers - thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the US by their parents when they were children who face uncertain futures under Donald Trump.

The #MeToo movement - the global campaign against sexual harassment launched in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.  

Trump beat Vladimir Putin, Nigel Farage and Beyonce to win last year and the magazine’s cover called him ‘President Of The Divided States’.

True to form, Trump gave the game away by tweeting he was due to be interviewed at 7.30am on The Today Show, the exact time the show was meant to be announcing who had won.

The Time accolade has been awarded to some controversial figures throughout history including Adolf Hitler in 1938 and Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942. Richard Nixon won the title in 1971 and 1972 and Vladimir Putin in 2007.