Covid experts and community helpers dominate New Year’s celebrations


Experts leading Britain’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, including top government advisers, are once again dominating the New Year’s list of honors.

In a separate announcement, the Queen named former Prime Minister Tony Blair a knight companion to the Noble Garter Order, the highest knightly order in her personal gift.

In the main honors. Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer of England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Government Scientific Adviser, will receive the KCB.

Dr Jenny Harries, Executive Director of the UK Health Safety Agency, Dr June Raine, Executive Director of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, and Emily Lawson, former Chief Commercial Officer of the NHS of England who oversaw most of the Covid vaccine 19, DBEs will be created.

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

About 200 people who helped citizens cope with the pandemic in their communities will also be rewarded. That includes Tobias Weller, 11 i Max Woosey, 12, who will receive BEM for their fundraising efforts during the crisis and are among the youngest award winners.

People 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 named DBE.

Du Plessis, former president of BT and miner of Rio Tinto, was appointed by the government last week as the new president of British Accounting Supervision. Wilson is the CEO of financial services company Legal and General, and Oakervee is a former president of rail companies HS2 and Crossrail.

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

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

Robert Stringer, President of Sony Music, Kathleen Grussing, CEO of Search Group Sapphire Partners, and Shalini Khemka, CEO of E2E, a group of 23,000 entrepreneurs, will all receive CBE.

Blair said he was “deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen” for being named Knight of the Garter. Sir John Major is the only former Prime Minister who is already a member of the Order.

Other appointments announced Friday include Baroness Valerie Amos, a former UN Secretary of International Development and Humanitarian Coordinator, and the Duchess of Cornwall, the wife of Prince Charles.

Among other politicians awarded is Labor veteran Lord Frank Field, who will be named an honorary companion.

Other 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 or knight.

Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse will also be named an honorary companion for his contribution to scientific research.

A number of honors will go to prominent athletes, including 78 Olympians and Paralympians, to pay tribute to their success at the Tokyo Games. Among the lists are married Olympians Laura and Jason Kenny, who will receive the ladies ‘and knights’ titles for cycling services.

Tennis player Emma Raducanu will receive an MBE after winning the US Open in September. The 19-year-old is the first Briton to win a major singles title since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

Swimmer Adam Peaty and diver Tom Daley will receive OBE for raising awareness about mental health and LGBT issues, as well as their achievements for winning a gold medal.

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

Alistair Spalding, artistic director and CEO of the world’s leading dance organization Sadler’s Wells, will be declared a knight, and James Bond actor Daniel Craig will become CMG.

Boris Johnson, the 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.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to thank them as a state for their commitment and outstanding contribution.”

Additional report by Jasmine Cameron-Chilesha


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