Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Experts leading the UK’s effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic, including the government’s most prominent advisers, are once again dominating the New Year’s honor.

In a separate announcement, the Queen appointed former Prime Minister Tony Blair as a knight companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the most senior order of chivalry and one in her personal gift.

In the main honors. Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, will receive KCBs.

Dr Jenny Harries, CEO of the UK Health Security Agency, Dr June Raine, CEO of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and Emily Lawson, former Commercial Officer of NHS England who oversaw much of the Covid-19 vaccine deployment, DBEs will be created.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, will be knighted, as will Frank Atherton and Gregor Smith, the Chief Medical Officers for Wales and Scotland respectively.

About 200 people who worked in their communities to help the public deal with the pandemic will also be honored. This includes Tobias Weller, 11, en Max Woosey, 12, who will receive BEMs for their fundraising efforts during the crisis and is one of the youngest recipients of an honor.

Figures in the business world who will receive honors include Jan du Plessis, Nigel Wilson, Doug Oakervee, William Russell and Ian Livingstone, who will all be knighted, and Vivienne Cox, who will be made a DBE.

Du Plessis, the former chairman of BT and miner Rio Tinto, was nominated by the government last week to be the new chairman of the British accounting watchdog. Wilson is CEO of financial services company Legal and General, and Oakervee is a former chairman of the rail companies HS2 and Crossrail.

Russell was the last mayor of the City of London, while Livingstone was prominent in the online gaming industry, including being a co-founder of Games Workshop.

Cox is an independent non-executive director at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and a prominent proponent of diversity and business inclusion.

Robert Stringer, chairman of Sony Music, Kathleen Grussing, managing director at search group Sapphire Partners, and Shalini Khemka, CEO of E2E, a group representing 23,000 entrepreneurs, will all receive CBEs.

Blair said he was “deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen” for his appointment as a Knight of the Garter. Sir John Major is the only former prime minister who is already a member of the order.

Other appointments to the order announced on Friday include Baroness Valerie Amos, a former UN international development secretary and humanitarian coordinator, and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles’ wife.

Among the other politicians honored is veteran laborer Lord Frank Field, who will be made a companion of honor.

Others on the list are Conservative MPs William Wiggin and Robert Goodwill, who will both become knights. Former MPs Sylvia Heal, Labor, and John Battle, conservative, will become a lady and knight respectively.

Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse will also be made a companion of honor for his contribution to scientific research.

A string of honors go to prominent athletes, including 78 Olympic and Paralympic players, to acknowledge their success at the Tokyo Games. Among the list are married Olympians Laura and Jason Kenny, who will receive a ladies’ and knighthood for cycling services.

Tennis player Emma Raducanu will receive an MBE following her US Open victory in September. The 19-year-old is the first British woman to win a major singles title since Virginia Wade’s victory at Wimbledon in 1977.

Swimmer Adam Peaty and diver Tom Daley will both receive OBEs for raising awareness of mental health and LGBT issues respectively as well as their achievements that have won gold medals.

Prominent figures from the art world that will be recognized include actresses Joanna Lumley and Vanessa Redgrave, who will both become ladies for their services to drama, entertainment and charity.

Alistair Spalding, artistic director and CEO of world-leading dance organization Sadler’s Wells, will be knighted and James Bond actor Daniel Craig will be made a CMG.

Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, said: “These recipients have inspired and entertained us and given so much to their communities in the UK or in many cases around the world.

“The honors are an opportunity for us to thank them, as a country, for their dedication and outstanding contribution.”

Additional post by Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe

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