» Friday, June 11, 2004

Birthday Honours List

The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said the 2004 Birthday Honours List reflected and paid tribute to outstanding achievement and service right across the community and the nation as a whole. As with previous lists a key aim had been to reward those who worked and served at the sharp end – people who had really changed things, or who had given outstanding service to others in difficult situations.

There was total of 918 honours on this year’s list. 48% of awards in the Prime Minister’s list of recommendations had come from nomination made by members of the public. The list also reflected the government’s commitment to honouring those in its key priority areas: education, health, law and order.

The PMS said that Education made up 10% of the total. There was a DBE for Enid Bibby who was Headteacher of Wood Green High School College of Sport in Wednesbury, West Midlands. The school had developed an excellent atmosphere for learning and made a strong contribution to the local education authority. There were Knighthoods for John Lewis, the Principal of Dixons City Technology College, Bradford; Alan Steer, Headteacher of Seven Kings High School in Redbridge whose school had improved dramatically in recent years; and Geoffrey Wakeford, the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Walsall City Academy.

Health and Social services made up another 10%. There were DBEs for Gillian Morgan, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation; Jacqueline Docherty, the Director of Nursing at King’s College Hospital, who had provided an outstanding example of nurse leadership. There were knighthoods for Professor Alan Craft the President of the Royal College of Paediatrics who had made an outstanding contribution to the treatment of leukaemia; and Professor Peter Harper who was until recently Professor of Medical Genetics at Cardiff University, who had done an immense amount on medical research. CBEs went to Professor Nairn Wilson, Dean of Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ and an outstanding dentist, and Farieda Fortune, Professor of Oral Medicine at London University.

There were DBEs for the Conservative MP Marion Roe who was an original member of its Administration Committee and was Chair of that Committee since 1997, she was largely responsible for making the Palace of Westminster more accessible to members of the public; Dianna Brittan, Chair of the Community Fund; and Hilary Cropper a member of the National Employment Panel and the Security Commission. There were Knighthoods for Gerald Kaufman MP, for the significant role he had played on a number of committees over the years, including as Chairman of the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport; Leslie Elton, who transformed Gateshead Council into one of the most successful local authorities in the country; David Henshaw, Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council; and Peter Winship who was one of the longest serving of HM Inspectors of Constabulary

In the business world there was a DBE for Deirdre Hutton, Executive Chair of the National Consumer Council who had done a huge amount over the last decade to help consumers and promote their interests. There were Knighthoods for David Bell, the Chair of the Financial Times Group; Hugh Collum, Chair of British Nuclear Fuels plc; Peter Crane, the dynamic Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew; Fred Goodwin, Group Chief Executive at the Royal Bank of Scotland where he undertook many challenging projects that benefited both his company and the Scottish economy as a whole; and Julian Horn-Smith, the highly respected Group Chief Operations Officer for Vodafone.

In the media and arts there were Knighthoods for Robert Phillis of the Guardian Media Group and Willard White, one of the world’s greatest opera singers.

Among the CBEs were Geoff Elliott, the first president of the Society of Editors; Bryan Forbes who had revitalised the National Youth Theatre; Vernon Handley, the conductor who had consistently championed British music. There was a CBE for John Hurt who had one of the most impressive and eclectic CVs in British acting spanning five decades; an OBE for Angela Rippon in recognition of her of her versatility in a career that has ranged from hard news to light entertainment. There was an OBE for Richard Whiteley. The Countdown host’s well deserved “two vowels and a consonant” were for his success as a TV presenter; an MBE for Pam Ayres whose name was synonymous with both comedy and poetry; and there was an MBE for Michael Fish described by many as Britain’s favourite weatherman.

In sport there was a Knighthood for Trevor Brooking who was a gifted player on the field and a natural ambassador off it. He had also been a tireless champion for grassroots sport through his involvement with the Sports Council and Sport England. There was an OBE for Mark Hughes the successful footballer whose success had continued as the Welsh Football Manager; and an MBE for Mark Williams the two-time world snooker champion.

Asked why only two members of the Shadows, Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett had received MBEs but not Hank Marvin the PMS said that she could not comment on names that were not on the list. Asked if she was aware if any of the names on the list included political contributors the PMS said that she was not, but all honours were scrutinised by the Honours Scrutiny Committee who looked into any details of donations.

Asked what kind of message a Knighthood for David Omand, sent to the family of David Kelly family the PMS said that David Omand was a distinguished Civil Servant who had done a lot of good work in his career. In answer to further questions the PMS said that Civil Servants made up about 12%of the Prime Minister’s list. Asked if the number of people refusing hounors had increased the PMS said that the number of refusals remained at around 2%. She reminded journalists that it was up to the individual to decide whether they would accept an honour or not. Asked if Clare Sumner had received a CBE because she was leaving Downing Street the PMS said that Clare had given unstinting support to the Prime Minister in her career at Downing Street and that it wasn’t the normal practice to discuss civil servants career plans.

Asked if she could comment on whether an individual was publicly nominated or otherwise the PMS said she could not. In answer to further questions the PMS said 48% of recommendations had come from nominations made by the public and the remainder came from other sources. The Prime Minister was presented the full list, as put forward by a range of committees and the public, for his approval.

Asked if Bob Phillis’s knighthood was directly related to his work on the Phillis Report the PMS said that he had been involved in the inquiry but he was being recognised for his distinguished career in the media. Asked about Lady Brittan’s award, the PMS said that Lady Brittan was being recognised for her work as chair of the Community Fund and her public service work.

Asked if the Government accepted that there was a case for wider reform of the Honours system given some of the public debate and parliamentary inquiries going on the PMS said that the Hayden Phillips led inquiry was expected to report later in the summer. Asked if changes would follow the PMS said she would not like to predict what would be in the report so it was best to wait and see what came from it when it was published.

The PMS said later that Maureen Croom who had been a cleaner at Downing Street for eleven years had been awarded an MBE.

Briefing took place at 11:45 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. On 19sept 04 my wife passed away,aged 49.
    she spend her life looking after handicaped children.in 1999 she helped start amovement,to help foster parents and children,who lives have been damaged through mothers drinking alcoal during pregnesy.what she help start ran out of control.she help thousends of people all over the world,this was only made clear after her death.
    all thought we have lived in germany for 24years i have been asked by so many people world wide if its possible for so kind of award to be given posturmaly for her.
    Her web site is-www.fasworld.de.
    WITH thanks alan gibson

    Comment by alan gibson — 9 Oct 2004 on 7:11 am | Link

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