New Year Honours: Hoyle says prime ministers should get awards
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Sir Lindsay Hoyle has argued all former British Prime Ministers should receive a knighthood on stepping down from office. The Speaker was grilled on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme over the inclusion of former Labour Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair in the New Year’s Honours lists. Sir Lindsay argued that all living former Prime Ministers should be granted a title out of respect for their national service. He named David Cameron as another former PM who deserved to be knighted.
Sir Lindsay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I would say if you’ve been Prime Minister this country, I do believe the country should recognise the service they’ve given.”
He added: “When you’ve finished I think it is the respect that we give those Prime Ministers.
“It is not about politics it is about the position they have held in this country.”
“It’s about the position and it’s the respect that we show to those people who’s led this country.
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“And I think it’s a fitting tribute to the job they’ve carried out.
“Whatever people might think it’s got to be the toughest job in the world.
“Definitely one of them if not the toughest, and I think quite rightly, it’s respectful is the right thing to do.
The Speaker continued: Whether it’s a Tony Blair, whoever it be, I think is right and fitting whether it’s to David Cameron, they should all be offered that knighthood when they finished in the position of Prime Minister.”
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Buckingham Palace has announced Mr Blair will be appointed a Knight Companion of the Noblest Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.
The former Labour prime minister was in office between 1997 and 2007.
He said: “It is an immense honour… I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.
“It was a great privilege to serve as prime minister.”
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The medical chiefs leading the UK’s battle against coronavirus have also been recognised in the New Year Honours list
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, deputy CMO Jonathan Van-Tam, and Wales’ and Scotland’s CMOs, Frank Atherton and Dr Gregor Smith, have been given knighthoods.
There are also damehoods for UK Health Security Agency chief, Dr Jenny Harries – whose organisation is responsible for the country’s testing regime – and Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, who was knighted in the 2019 New Year Honours list, is elevated to a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
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