Key figures in the battle against Covid-19 and Britain’s vaccine success have been rewarded in the Queen’s birthday honours list, with vaccines taskforce chair Kate Bingham getting a damehood.
Honours are also bestowed on two leaders of the research teams at the Oxford Vaccine Centre who developed and manufactured a vaccine backed by the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. Prof Sarah Gilbert, Saïd professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, becomes a dame while Prof Andrew Pollard, professor of paediatric infection at the University of Oxford, gets a knighthood.
CBEs are awarded to Ian McCubbin, the manufacturing expert on the vaccine taskforce, and Mark Proctor, global supply strategy director at AstraZeneca. Another taskforce member, Divya Chadha Manek, receives an OBE for her work overseeing the clinical trials for different Covid-19 vaccines.
In education, there are knighthoods for Hamid Patel, the chief executive of one of the country’s largest school trusts, Star Academies, and Philip Augar, who chaired the government’s review of tertiary education.
But there are likely to be eyebrows raised over other honours, including the knighthood for banker António Horta-Osório, whose time in charge of Lloyds Banking Group was marred by controversy amid criticism of its treatment of people whose businesses were ruined in the HBOS Reading fraud scandal.
The banker, who apologised for revelations about his private life and the damage they caused the group’s reputation at a time when the firm was overseeing thousands of job cuts, is honoured after what the government said was “a major service for the UK taxpayer by leading Lloyds Banking Group from the brink of collapse back to profitability”.
There was also a knighthood for William Adderley, who donated half a million pounds to the Conservative party under Boris Johnson through a firm he was a director of during the 2019 UK general election.
Adderley, who is the son of the founder of the homeware chain Dunelm, also gave £50,000 to the Vote Leave campaign through the same investment firm, WA Capital. He is honoured for his charity giving, including setting up a trust 10 years ago, which aims to donate £5m a year, and helping improve care for terminally ill people by donating £2m to a Leicestershire hospice.
In other honours, a CBE goes to an Oxford historian involved in a controversial project to construct a balance sheet of the rights and wrongs of imperialism who has emerged as a prominent intellectual figure on the right in the so-called culture wars.
Nigel Biggar, a regius professor of theology at Oxford who dismissed criticism of his leadership of a project named Ethics and Empire as “collective online bullying”, is honoured for services to higher education.
Paul Goodman, who retired as the chief constable of Derbyshire police in the year he was forced to defend the use of drones to spy on walkers and putting black dye in a blue lagoon to deter public gatherings, receives an OBE for services to policing and prevention of cybercrime.
And there is a CBE for the documentary photographer Martin Parr, who has spent years documenting British life. Parr stepped down from his position as artistic director of a new high-profile arts festival in Bristol last July amid a racism row. Parr, who apologised after writing an introduction to a book which contained an image of a black woman placed opposite a photograph of a gorilla in a zoo cage, is honoured for services to photography. Parr is known for photographic work that often takes an anthropological approach to chronicling modern life, including English social classes. He set up a foundation in 2014 that includes an archive of contemporary UK images.
The list is one of the most ethnically diverse lists to date, with 15% of recipients coming from a minority ethnic background. The past two honours lists had 14% minority ethnic recipients.
It is the first list in which recipients have been broken down by self-identified socioeconomic background. Of them, 17.3% said they were from a lower socioeconomic background.
Of the 1,129 people who receive an award, 567 women are recognised in the list, representing 50% of the total. At CBE level and above, 39% of recipients are women. Five per cent of recipients are LGBT.
The youngest recipient is Amika George, 21, whose online campaign calling for an end to period poverty led to the UK government funding free period products for schools and colleges across England, and who receives an MBE. Also honoured are friends Clegg Bamber and Anna Miles, who receive MBEs for their Red Box Project, which also helps young people to access free period products.
Debbie Williams, of Brexpats – Hear Our Voice, received an MBE for services to UK nationals in the EU. She founded the pan-European citizens’ rights campaigning and support group in June 2016.
British Empire Medals go to, among others, siblings John Brownhill and Amanda Guest, co-founders of Food4Heroes, which delivered food from local chefs to NHS frontline staff. A BEM also goes to Rhys Mallows, 25, who repurposed his gin distillery to produce hand sanitiser.
Boris Johnson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have seen countless examples of everyday heroes.
“From those using their expertise to help develop life-saving vaccines, which are now being rolled out successfully to all parts of the UK, to the people who have given time and energy to care for their communities.”
Among political figures, there are damehoods for Meg Hillier, the Labour MP and chair of the public accounts committee, as well as Andrea Leadsom, the Tory MP and former secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. The veteran Labour MP Tony Lloyd receives a knighthood for parliamentary and public service while the former Labour MP Mary Creagh gets a CBE
Former and current advisers to Johnson’s government are also honoured. They include Oliver Lewis – a former Vote Leave staffer nicknamed Sonic who served as a key aide to Johnson before departing from No 10’s “union unit” earlier this year. He receives a CBE, as does Simon Burton, special adviser to the government chief whip.
Myles Stacey, a special adviser to the prime minister and former Tory Westminster election candidate, is honoured with an OBE “for voluntary and charitable services to the Black community during the Covid-19 response”.
Maurizio Bragagni, a business figure and Conservative activist who founded British-Italian Conservatives, receives an OBE.