New Year honours: Charity workers, MPs and campaigners recognised

The Queen’s honours acknowledge hundreds of people for services to community or British national life.

Recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.

In descending order, the main honours are knighthoods, CBE, OBE and Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE. Knights are addressed as "sir" or "dame," followed by their name.

Recipients of the other honours have no title, but they can put the letters after their names.

Here are a some who were recognised as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year’s honours list. 

Knighthood for MP who signed off prorogation

 Geoffrey Cox QC 

Credit:  Barcroft Media

Geoffrey Cox QC, the former attorney general who last year controversially advised the Government that it was legal to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, has been awarded a knighthood. 

The advice from the Consevative MP for Torridge and West Devon was later overturned when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled the prorogation of Parliament as unlawful. 

Angela Eagle, the long serving Labour MP for Wallasey in Merseyside who is best known for her work promoting women’s and minority rights, is made a dame for parliamentary and political service.

Charity champion is oldest to be recognised

106-year-old volunteer Anne Baker,

Credit: PA

A 106-year-old volunteer who dedicated more than 50 years to a children’s charity has become the oldest ever recipient of an honour.  

Anne Baker, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, was given an MBE for charitable services to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

Mrs Baker said it was a “great surprise” to receive the award, adding: “I’ve just been helping the NSPCC for about 50 years – I always have the party in my garden which normally makes about £1,000 a year, which is lovely.”

“We couldn’t hold it this year but we still managed to raise £4,000.”

For 11 years she has held a birthday coffee morning for the charity, usually raising more than £1,500. 

However, when it was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, she set up a JustGiving page in the hope technology could help raise funds.

Her online appeal attracted donations from as far away as Austria and the United States, raising more than £4,000.

Sister of murdered MP says MBE is ‘bittersweet

Kim Leadbeater, ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation

Credit: PA

The sister of murdered MP Jo Cox has described being made an MBE for her work fighting social isolation as “bittersweet”.

Kim Leadbeater, an ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation, was recognised by the Palace for stepping up the campaign during the pandemic as millions were suddenly cut off from their support networks.

Ms Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two and Labour MP was shot and stabbed by a far-right extremist in 2016.

Following her sister’s death, Ms Leadbeater began promoting causes Mrs Cox had campaigned about.

She founded the Great Get Together – a series of events within communities to help people create ties and help those who are lonely to build support networks. Those meetings took  place online during the pandemic.

Following the announcement she is to become an MBE, Ms Leadbeater said: “I am very honoured and humbled to receive this recognition.

“I would have much preferred for my sister to be here carrying on the work she started on loneliness and so much else, but while this is sadly a bittersweet moment for our family, I know that Jo would be extremely proud.

“For me this is not a personal achievement – it is an acknowledgment of the many people who have worked alongside me since Jo’s murder to make a difference on the issues she cared deeply about.”

OBE ‘a tribute’ to allergy victim, say her parents

Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse 

Credit: PA

The parents of a 15-year-old girl who died from a severe allergic reaction after eating a baguette on a plane are to accept an OBE.

Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, who set up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation in the name of their daughter, said the award is a tribute to their child.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, from Fulham, west London, died of anaphylaxis after unknowingly eating sesame contained in an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette she had bought from Pret a Manger at Heathrow Airport.

She fell ill and collapsed on a flight to Nice in July, 2016.

In a statement, her parents said: “We are humbled and honoured to accept these awards in the name of our beloved daughter Natasha.

“Natasha was a passionate believer in social justice and the bright torch that she carried for others inspires us every day.”

The honour is for their services to charity and for people with allergic disease. The foundation they set up intends to establish a research centre at the University of Southampton to find a cure for allergies.

Mr and Mrs Ednan-Laperouse also managed to win new protections for food allergy sufferers under the introduction of “Natasha’s Law”, which will require all businesses in England and Northern Ireland to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food from October 2021.

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