WARRINGTON South MP Helen Southworth has been named MP of the year at a prestigious ceremony for her work protecting runaways.

The MP won the title at the second Dods & Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Awards on Wednesday.

The Warrington South MP was nominated for her dedication to changing Government attitudes towards runaway and missing children.

After establishing and chairing the all-party parliamentary group for runaway and missing children in 2006, Helen continued to work tirelessly to raise the profile of the issue in 2007.

The awards ceremony, attended by more than 300 MPs, Peers, business leaders, stakeholders and journalists, was presented by BBC political correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti.

Michael Hepburn, Dods chief officer, said: "These awards contribute to recognising and promoting the work of women in politics, business, the civil service and community leadership. We are delighted so many people got involved."