Heroes Of Grenfell Tower And Terror Attacks Told They Must Wait For Honours
Heroes of the Grenfell Tower fire and Manchester and London terror attacks have not been included in the New Year Honours list, while politicians and celebrities do make the cut.
The organisers of the honours list said more time was needed to gather and judge nominations of people praised for their responses to this year’s biggest tragedies.
But the delay was attacked by a member of the Grenfell recovery scrutiny committee, who said it was “absolutely outrageous” that community heroes were not being recognised straightaway.
A City Hall source told The Independent that London Mayor Sadiq Khan believed those who played key roles in the responses “should be recognised as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, the list does include senior honours for a clutch of lesser-known Conservative MPs who backed Brexit in the referendum.
They include Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 backbench committee, who would play a crucial role if enough Tory MPs demanded a vote of no confidence in Theresa May.
Cheryl Gillan, who is being made a Dame, and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and Christopher Chope – who are both knighted – also all backed Leave.
Sir Geoffrey, MP for the Cotswolds, said he believed it was “completely coincidental” when asked if Brexit had influenced any of the political honours awarded.
On the other side of the EU divide, news of the knighthood for Nick Clegg, the former Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister, leaked earlier this week.
There are also knighthoods for Labour MPs Mark Hendrick and Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Deputy Speaker.
Tommy Sheppard, the SNP Cabinet Office spokesman said the honours list should not include “doled out political favours”.
“Sadly, successive Westminster governments have risked demeaning the system by making obvious political appointments,” he said.
The Grenfell tragedy claimed 71 lives in June, while more than 30 people were killed by terrorists in London and at the Manchester Arena.
Joe Delaney, who lived on Lancaster West estate and is a member of the local council’s Grenfell recovery scrutiny committee, said the tragedy should have been acknowledged in the list.
“I think it shows where the Government’s priorities lie,” he told The Independent, pointing to Nick Clegg’s knighthood.
“What about people who helped at Grenfell, or people who stepped in to help at the London Bridge attack or Manchester Arena?
“For ordinary people who went above and beyond not to be honoured is absolutely outrageous.”
Judy Bolton, campaign coordinator for Justice4Grenfell, said the community “know who is honourable”, regardless of the names on the honours list.