5 trends to transform political communications in 2019
11th January 2019
Could this simple strategy keep Trump in till 2024?
22nd January 2019

We did the #10yearchallenge for UK politicians so they don't have to


The #10yearchallenge is the hottest trend sweeping social media right now. Simply, people posts photos of themselves 10 years apart.

Politicians, however, aren't exactly rushing to join in, so purely to produce some distracting humour from Brexit clamity...

Here's some familiar faces, and what they were doing back in 2009.


PM Theresa May




2009: Described in a Guardian article as David Cameron’s “Lady in waiting”, the then shadow work and pensions secretary was a rising star in the Conservative party and thought to be a key figure in the majority conservative government that many thought inevitable in the following years’ General Election.

2019: Following the crushing defeat of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal last night, her government faces a motion of no confidence tonight and although many expect her to win, it is clear that Theresa May’s premiership is on the ropes with it being only a matter of time till the knockout blow is landed, but who will it come from?


Jeremy Corbyn MP




2009: It was business as usual for a pre-leadership Corbyn, as 2009 saw him attend a rally against the Gaza war where despite his own comments being comparatively tame, his now director of communications, Seamus Milne, declared that Hamas “will not be broken’.

2019: The leader of the opposition, something unthinkable in 2009, remains the bookies favourite to be the next occupant of Number 10. Although tonight’s no confidence motion will likely fail to dislodge the government, it will be the first of many attempts. A lot has changed for the Islington North MP over the last 10 years.


Vince Cable MP




2009: Then the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cable was a key strategic thinker and along with Nick Clegg oversaw a surge in popularity for his party, placing them in a promising position ahead of a general election.

2019: One of the Lib Dem’s key players during the coalition, Cable now leads his party who are very vocally in favour of a second referendum but are failing to make any headway in the polls.


Nicola Sturgeon MSP




2009: As Deputy First Minister, Sturgeon was praised for her handling of the Swine Flu outbreak in her role Cabinet Secretary for Health in the Scottish Parliament. Despite being in the shadows of Alex Salmond, Sturgeon was seen as a very impressive political operator and one to watch for the future.

2019: Entering her 5th year as SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister, Sturgeon continues to impress particularly with her strong stance on Brexit and is seen by many as one of the few British politicians with genuine leadership qualities.


Nigel Farage




2009: In what seemed like the start of a broken record, Farage resigned as leader of UKIP, although this time for the purpose of fighting an ill-fated campaign to unseat speaker John Bercow in Buckingham.

2019: Having had a number of spells back in charge of his party and another failed election bid, Farage is now more commonly found on the airwaves with his regular LBC show attracting quite some interest, although Brexit will still be considered by many of his supporters as his greatest contribution to British politics.


Sadiq Khan




2009: One of Labour’s rising stars, Khan was appointed a minister of state in the Department for Transport, having previously held roles in Communities and Local Government and the Whips office.

2019: Now an increasingly popular Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has been a vocal People’s Vote campaign supporter and looks set to comfortably win re-election next year.


Amber Rudd MP




2009: Selected to fight a key marginal, Hastings & Rye. Rudd was fighting a powerful local campaign against Labour’s Michael Jabez.

2019: Having had a spectacular rise through the ranks at Westminster, Rudd has been a leading cabinet member since 2015 and although a brief spell on the sidelines having resigned as Home Secretary following the Windrush scandal, she is now back as Work and Pensions secretary.


John Bercow MP




2009: After winning the Speaker’s chair, Bercow faced an immediate if not entirely troubling threat as UKIP’s Nigel Farage announced his intention to break convention and stand against the new speaker in his Buckingham constituency

2019: Having sat in the Speakers chair for almost 10 years, longer than he assured the house he would do, Bercow has become known for his tenacious referring of commons debates, championing the rights of back benches and seldom letting ministers off the hook.


Diane Abbott MP




2009: A vocal government back-bencher, the Hackney MP was a passionate campaigner on a number of issues, namely the un-ethical holding of DNA on government databases.

2019: Now a key figure in Corbyn’s team as Shadow Home Secretary, Abbott is a loyal supporter of the Labour leadership and has landed some heavy blows on the government over the Windrush scandal.


Tom Watson MP




2009: A key ally of the PM Gordon Brown, Watson stepped down from the government after a number of controversies destabilised what was a promising ministerial career.

2019: Now back on the frontline of politics as Labour’s deputy leader, Watson has been key to holding the party together amid splits over its’ leadership and recently won praise for his campaigning on diabetes, himself having lost six stone and put his diabetes into remission.


Anna Soubry MP




2009: Selected as a candidate in the key marginal seat of Broxtowe, held by Labour’s Nick Palmer, Soubry was in the midst of an incredibly tight election battle, albeit a successful one.

2019: Having been a minister in the coalition government, Soubry is now one of her own party’s fiercest critics’ lambasting Theresa May’s Brexit policy and falling fully behind the People’s Vote campaign.


Chuka Umunna MP




2009: One of the Labour’s star PPCs, Umunna won a tight selection race in Streatham to replace the retiring Keith Hill and was seen by many as an impressive figure who could go on to make a big impact in parliament.

2019: After a botched leadership bid in 2015, Umunna has been a vocal critic of the Labour leadership and has now turned his fire on Brexit, being a leading voice on the People’s Vote campaign, as well as rumours circling that he is a leading figure in the planning of a new centrist party.


Caroline Lucas MP




2009: The leader of the Green Party, selected to fight her party’s target seat of Brighton Pavillion, was creating quite stir on the south coast, with many commentators’ predicting that she could cause a big upset in the following year’s general election.

2019: Having held her seat in 2015 and 2017, Lucas has had a number of spells as her party’s leader but has once again stepped back to focus on her work as an MP, with the People’s Vote campaign again being able to count her amongst their supporters.


Andy Burnham




2009: A fresh faced Burnham had been appointed Health Secretary and found himself in the midst of the Mid-Staffs crisis. Despite a difficult brief, Burnham was still seen as a contender for the leadership and managed to come through a tough period in cabinet relatively unscathed.

2019: Now the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Burnham has won praise for his response to the 2017 terror attacks and his work on homelessness in the city, with him donating a chunk of his monthly salary to the Mayor’s Homelessness fund.


Yvette Cooper MP




2009: The newly appointed Work and Pensions secretary was another key support of the Prime Minister and was also touted for the leadership should the following year’s election go as we now know it did.

2019: A failed leadership bid in 2015, having started the campaign as a front runner, may have put others on the back foot but Cooper has been one of the star performers of this parliament, hammering the government over their handling of the refugee crisis and leading many to assert her qualities are much missed on Labour’s front bench.


Ed Balls




2009: As Secretary of State for the now defunct Department for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls was another key confidant of PM Gordon Brown, and one touted as the key Brownite candidate in any future leadership election.

2019: Ed Balls has taken 2015 election defeat in his stride, endearing himself to the public with his appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, and now continuing to impress with his work on radio and TV.


Ed Miliband MP




2009: Named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the “saints’ of the expenses crisis, Labour’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary was on the rise and rumours were starting to circle of his leadership ambitions. We all know how that one planned out…

2019: Now known as much for his podcasts than his politics, the former Labour leader still makes an impact on the back benches speaking far more fluently than he did as leader.


Tony Blair




2009: Despite only having left office two years previously, the former PM was still feeling the heat courtesy of the Chilcot report, with former US Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer alleging that Blair had given up on any resistance to US intervention in Iraq almost 12 months before the invasion began.

2019: Having been somewhat withdrawn from the limelight after the outcome of the Chilcot report, Brexit has brought Blair back into the public eye as a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign and a damning critic of Brexit.


Gordon Brown




2009: Delivering what was to be his final conference speech as Labour leader and Prime Minister, Brown praised the achievements of the last 12 years of Labour government and although asserting his ability to continue the economic revival. The writing was on the wall for an election defeat.

2019: Of all the ex new-Labour figures, it is perhaps Brown who has endeared himself most to the public. Known now for passionate interventions on key issues, Brexit has again drawn the former PM’s ire as he became another in a line of high profile supporters of the people’s vote campaign.

*Note: with some earlier photos, it's unclear on the exact year, so some may be out by a year or two.*

Thanks for reading!



Wanting to

Good news! We're just who you need, see how we can help here...