The UK’s honours system sometimes comes in for criticism, (not least when I received an OBE for public service four years ago!) but today’s list yet again recognised people from every station in society including school crossing attendants, teachers, carers, and community activists. I was particularly delighted to see so many friends and colleagues listed amongst the recipients, all of whom richly deserve recognition.
I was especially pleased to see the Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes former MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark rewarded for his over thirty years of parliamentary service.
Also from the world of London politics were:
- Cllr Peter Golds CBE, Conservative Group Leader on Tower Hamlets Council, who so fearlessly stood up to the bullying and corruption of that borough’s former Mayor;
- Cllr David Simmonds CBE, Deputy Leader of Hillingdon Council and Chairman of the LGA’s Children & Young People Board as well as being a colleague on the Capital Ambition Board;
- Cllr Claire Kober OBE, Leader of Haringey Council and Deputy Chair of London Councils;
- Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of Bexley Council and Conservative Group Leader on London Councils; and
- Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, Deputy Leader and former Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster and Chairman of the London Mayors’ Association.
Elsewhere in local government, we celebrate the awards to:
- Cllr Jim McMahon OBE, Leader of Oldham Council, and Vice Chair and Labour Leader on the Local Government Association; and
- Cllr Judi Billing MBE of North Hertfordshire District Council and former head of the then IDeA Leadership Academy for Local Government.
Other political honours went to:
- Neil Sherlock CBE, former Senior Adviser to the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP as Deputy Prime Minister;
- James Gurling OBE, ex Southwark councillor and chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Campaigns and Communication Committee; and
- Duwayne Brooks OBE, ex Lewisham councillor and Lib Dem mayoral candidate in that borough, equality campaigner, and a close friend of the late Stephen Lawrence.
Outside of the immediate political arena, but reflective of other current and former aspects of my life, I was so pleased to see awards for:
- Sir Nicholas Macpherson GCB, Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury;
- Sir Francis McLoughlin CBE, Principal of City & Islington College;
- Professor Jane Anderson CBE, Director of the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV;
- Dr Ann Limb CBE, former Chair of the Anne Frank Trust and a tremendous ambassador for further education and her adopted home, Milton Keynes;
- Liz Nicholl CBE, Chief Executive of UK Sport;
- Lady Brewer OBE, former Chairman of the City of London Festival;
- Paul Darling OBE QC, bencher of Middle Temple, and until recently Chairman of the Sports Ground Safety Authority; and
- Aldham Robarts OBE DL, a great philanthropist and benefactor of Liverpool John Moores University.
All of those I have listed together with the over one thousand other recipients have done huge amounts for their communities and/or the nation and deserve recognition and our respect. I am pleased for them all.