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New Years Honours List 2009

31 December 2008

The 2009 New Year Honours List is published today, recognising outstanding achievement and service across the whole of the community.

In total 966 people have been recommended to the Prime Minister for an award:

Honours for Britain’s hugely successful Olympians and Paralympians include a knighthood for triple gold medallist Chris Hoy and an MBE for 14-year-old swimmer Eleanor Simmonds, the youngest person ever to receive an honour.

But the sports stars of Beijing make up only a tiny minority of the people on the list. The majority are local heroes from a range of fields, undertaking outstanding work that is having a real impact in the community. They include an MBE for senior nurse Carol Hoy – the mother of cyclist Chris – who is honoured for her exceptional service to healthcare.

Six individuals are honoured for showing real service to others in the midst of the London terrorist bombings in 2005. They include an MBE for Timothy Coulson, who jumped across the tracks and into a damaged Tube train to render first aid.

Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah was murdered in 2000, is awarded an MBE for her outstanding services to child protection.

In the fields of Community Voluntary and Local Services (which make up 39% of the awards) there are Knighthoods for, among others, His Honour Judge Goolam Meeran, who as president of the Employment Tribunal led reform of the entire tribunal system and for John Madejski, a major philanthropist and the chairman of Reading Football Club.

At CBE there is Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations and a leading figure in the national and international inter-faith movement.

There are OBEs for Janet Miller, who for more than 40 years has been involved in many national charities, and Bernard Lewis, an 82-year-old businessman who has been working voluntarily in the charity sector since his retirement.

Among the people at MBE who have made a real impact on their communities are The Rev Dr John Elliston, who has given considerable service to vulnerable and homeless people in Darlington, Vivienne Smith, who has spent more than 43 years as a volunteer leader for Girlguiding UK, and Dee Edwards and Lynnette Costello, co-founders of Mothers against Murder and Aggression, a charity supporting families and friends of murder victims.

Education makes up about 10% of the total, with Knighthoods for Professor Timothy Brighouse, a national leader for school improvement, and Robert Edwards, headteacher at Garforth Community College in Leeds and the national leader of education with the National College of School Leadership.

In total, 11 head teachers are recommended for honours. These include a CBE for Tarun Kapur from Trafford, who has not only excelled in his own school but also established a strong partnership with Manchester United Football Club.

The list of education OBEs includes Robert Drew, headteacher of Gearies Infant School in Redbridge, and Elphin Jones, principal of Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, who has led the agricultural establishment to expansion and success.

There are MBEs for 11 school teachers and 12 school governors. Included are Maureen Tyler-Moore, the principal of Foxes Academy in Minehead, a training hotel for students with a wide variety of learning difficulties, and Margaret Fish, honoured for her support to the community and her 36 years of dedicated and unbroken service as a Class Teacher at Park Primary School in Alloa. Douglas Macneilage, the janitor at Tobermory High School, receives an MBE for his contribution to the school and his community.

Health makes up 8% of all honours. The wide range of awards include DBEs for Elizabeth Fradd, for services to nursing and for her extensive and regular contribution to policy development at national and international levels, and for Professor Sally Davies, director of research and development at the Department of Health, for her outstanding contribution to patient care and health research.

There are Knighthoods for Nicholas Partridge, chief executive of Aids charity the Terence Higgins Trust, and Bernard Ribeiro, who recently retired as President of the Royal College of Surgeons after 40 years of work at a local, regional and national level.

Dr Nigel Lightfoot, chief adviser at the Health Protection Agency, is honoured with a CBE for the crucial role he played in the polonium 210 poisoning incident, where he oversaw the professional work.

There is also a CBE for Dr Kathleen Costeloe, senior lecturer and honorary consultant paediatrician at Homerton University Hospital, Hackney. She has co-led research on the survival and health status of infants born at less than 26 weeks gestation.

Among the OBEs are Professor Barry Hancock, professor of oncology at Sheffield Teaching Hospital, Dr Nadia Chambers, consultant nurse for older people at Southampton University Hospital, and Catherine Beswick, head of healthcare at HM Young Offender Institution Huntercombe, for her work providing excellent health services to some of the most vulnerable and excluded youngsters in society.

There are also MBEs for seven nurses (more than twice as many as in previous lists), five GPs, and one dentist.

Industry and the Economy makes up 14% of the awards.
There are Knighthoods for Alexander Crombie, group chief executive of Standard Life, and David Jones, who not only led the Next firm from £25m to £4bn – a performance unsurpassed in retail or any other sector on the London Stock Exchange – but also co-founded the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

CBEs include Robert Holden, chief executive officer of London and Continental Railways, who delivered the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Project and the restoration of St Pancras Station.

There are OBEs for Andrew Ramroop, the first black business owner in Savile Row, Kumar Muthalagappan, managing director of the Pearl Hotel and Restaurants Group, and distinguished economist Dr Diane Coyle.

There are MBEs for a huge variety of people, including bag designer Anya Hindmarch, British Curry Awards founder Enam Ali, and service delivery assistant Wayne Spence, who is honoured for his outstanding service to the public at Bristol Temple Meads station.

Science and Technology makes up 2% of the awards, including a Knighthood for Dr Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust.

CBEs include Professor Tom Kirkwood, a leader in investigating the genetics of ageing and longevity, and Professor Lesley Glover, the chief scientific adviser to Scotland.

Among the OBEs are 81-year-old Jean Combes. She is a phenologist - an expert in dating tree leaves - whose records are the longest made by a single person anywhere in the world and are proving incredibly valuable in monitoring the impact of climate change. Glaciologist Robert Mulvaney from the British Antarctic Survey also receives an OBE. He is one of the world’s leading scientists dealing with ice cores.

MBEs include Syd Wright, and archetypal unsung hero who, as chief technician for Insect Survey at Rothamsted Research has generated the world’s most comprehensive database on terrestrial invertebrates.

Arts and Media make up 5% of the total.
There are DBEs for Rosalind Savill, director of the Wallace Collection, and Jenny Abramsky, lately group director of BBC Audio and Music.

There is a Knighthood for Terry Pratchett, one of the most popular authors writing today, in recognition of the huge impact his work has had across all ages and strata of society and across the world.

There are CBEs for Robert Plant, one of the most significant rock singers of all time, Lady Marina Vaizey, a prominent figure in the arts world who has given distinguished service to almost every major UK arts organisation, and Courtney Pine, one of the UK’s most influential and prolific jazz musicians.

Among the OBEs are actor Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair in The Queen and David Frost in Frost / Nixon, and Lakhbir Kaur (AKA Lucky Dhillon) multiple-award winning producer and broadcaster, who is honoured for services to Asian broadcasting.

At MBE the list includes Betty Smith, the 87-year-old “national treasure”, famous for her part in the Royle Family, and banjo player David Miles, the first such musician to be honoured in recent memory.

The State Sector awards include a KCB for Jonathan Phillips, Permanent Secretary at the Northern Ireland Office, whose diplomatic skills have enabled once intractable parties to come together and form a government working for the good of all of Northern Ireland’s citizens. There is also a KCB for Nick Macpherson, Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, to recognise his extraordinary work in response to the crisis in the financial services industry.

Awards for Sport make up 8% of the total.
For Britain’s Olympians there are one Knighthood, four CBEs, six OBEs, and 23 MBEs.

Cyclist Chris Hoy who won three gold medals at Beijing on top of the one he won in Athens and holds 27 World, Olympic and Commonwealth medals, receives a knighthood.

There are CBEs for Ben Ainslie, Britain’s most successful sailor ever, Bradley Wiggins, the first cyclist to successfully defend his pursuit title at the Olympics, David Brailsford, performance director of the phenomenally successful British cycling team and David Tanner, the performance director of GB Rowing.

Among the OBEs there are awards for Rebecca Adlington, who won two swimming golds at Beijing, and for sailors Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, who won gold at Beijing to add to their golds from Athens in 2004.

The gold medallists honoured with an MBE include the middleweight boxer James DeGale, the women’s 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, and cyclist Rebecca Romero, who won gold in cycling four years after collecting a silver medal for rowing.

For the Paralympians there are two CBEs, seven OBEs and 12 MBEs.

David Roberts, who has now won 16 Paralympic medals at three Games (including four gold medals at Beijing), has a CBE, as does horseman Lee Pearson, who won three golds at Beijing.

Among the OBEs are cyclist Darren Kenny, who won four gold medals at Beijing and swimmer Sascha Kindred, who won two golds and holds several world records.

There is an MBE for swimmer Eleanor Simmonds, the 14- year-old double gold medallist. The Honours Selection Committee was clear that she should receive an MBE despite her age - no minor has received an honour before.

In addition to the Olympic and Paralympic heroes there are MBEs for local heroes of sport, including Lincoln Moses, the general manager of Birmingham community football side Continental Star FC, Dorothy Neyland, honoured for more than 30 years voluntary service as a gymnastics coach in Swansea, and veteran tennis player Gerald Ells, who was until recently the number two singles player in the world rankings for the over 85s.

And Lewis Hamilton, who won the Formula One title in only his second season, is honoured with an MBE.

Notes for Editors

  1. The full list of New Year Honours 2009 can be found at or
  2. The publication of last year’s New Year Honours list was accompanied by a new regional campaign designed to raise awareness of the honours system and to inform people how to nominate.
  3. Following the advertising campaign, the Cabinet Office has recorded a marked increase in enquiries about the honours system, as well as noticeable increase in nominations themselves.
  4. Cabinet Office Press Office 22 Whitehall London SW1A 2WH
    Tel: 020 7276 1146
    Out of hours telephone 07699 113300 and ask for pager number 721338.