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30 December 2022

New Year Honours 2023 list in full as Brian May and Lionesses get top gongs

In the first New Year Honours List rubber-stamped by King Charles, over 1,100 individuals receive awards, including artist Grayson Perry, England women's captain Leah Williamson, and heptathlete and TV presenter Denise Lewis

The King has made a Queen star ‘Sir’ Brian May in his first New Year Honours list as monarch.

The rock guitarist, astrophysicist, and badgers’ rights campaigner is honoured alongside a Damehood for Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis and a knighthood for the artist Grayson Perry.

Lionesses are honoured after a brilliant year, with England Women’s captain Leah Williamson receiving an OBE, while Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White are all awarded MBEs.

In sports there’s also an MBE for Chris “Unbelievable Jeff!” Kamara.

In politics, there’s the ceremony of knighthoods for two top officials who got unceremoniously sacked.

In a nod to the late Queen, there’s an MBE for glassblower John Reyntiens, best known for the stained-glass window at the North End of Westminster Hall which was gifted to Her Majesty the Queen for her 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

Thousands saw it when Her Majesty lay in state in September.

In total 1,107 people recieve awards in the first batch of honours rubber-stamped by the King, including 305 British Empire Medals, 431 MBEs and 219 OBEs.

Sixty-per-cent of recipients are recognised mainly for voluntary or charitable work in their communities while half of those honoured are women.

One of the oldest recipients is 100-year-old Peter Offord Davies from Macclesfield, Cheshire. who is awarded a BEM for his work as a reading volunteer at Dean Valley Community Primary School.

Here are some of the highlights - followed by the honours list in full.

TV, showbiz and arts

Queen star Brian May becomes a Sir in the King’s first New Year’s Honours. The rock guitarist, wildlife campaigner and astrophysicist is awarded a knighthood 17 years after becoming a CBE.

The gong, announced four months after the Queen’s death, is particularly poignant as it comes 20 years after May performed on the Buckingham Palace roof at Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee.

62-year-old artist Grayson Perry recieves one of the top gongs in today's list which sees him knighted for services to the arts.

Known for his tapestries and ceramic works, he often explores fashion, conformity and prejudice in his work and appears in public as his female alter-ego, Claire.

Broadcaster John Suchet, previously an ITN newsreader and now a presenter on Classic FM, gets an OBE, while actor David Harewood, who starred in Homeland, becomes an OBE.

This is England star Stephen Graham also becomes an OBE for services to drama.

The 49-year-old Merseyside-born actor has won plaudits playing Irish, English and American criminals and police officers in various blockbuster Hollywood films and hit TV dramas across his three-decade career.

Sport and games

England's Lionesses scoop a clutch of gongs after winning Euro2022 this summer - with triumphant coach Sarina Wiegman handed an honorary accolade.

Women’s captain Leah Williamson receives an OBE while teammates Lucy Bronze , Beth Mead and Ellen White get MBEs after the side beat Germany 2-1 in the Wembley final in July, thanks to goals from substitutes Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly.

The tournament victory was England's first major trophy success since the 1966 men's World Cup.

There was a last-minute award for coach Wiegman, a Dutch national, who was initially overlooked but becomes an honorary CBE.

Heptathlete and TV presenter Denise Lewis was "blown away" to become a Dame after overseeing the summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Lewis, 50, said the accolade feels "like going full circle" after her Olympic gold medal in Sydney 22 years ago.

"I can't even process it, but I haven't stopped smiling since I heard the news," she said.

Former world champion Lizzie Deignan is made an MBE for services to cycling as she prepares to return to racing after becoming a mother for the second time.


Ex-top Treasury official Sir Tom Scholar, who was ousted by doomed Prime Minister Liz Truss, is among those given a prestigious gong.

The department’s former permanent secretary Sir Tom becomes a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, four months after he was sacked by the rookie Premier and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

Ex-Tory Party chairman Andrew Stephenson, who oversaw the summer leadership race, gets a CBE, while senior Conservative MP Julian Lewis, who chairs the Intelligence and security Committee, becomes a Sir.

Conservative MP Alok Sharma, who led the UK’s COP26 climate change programme, becomes a knight after his government role ended.

Senior Labour backbencher Chris Bryant, who chairs the Commons Standards Committee, receives a knighthood.

The Rhondda MP said: "I was surprised, I have no idea how this comes about.

"Everybody told me the Standards Committee would be a quiet backwater - it hasn't felt like that.

“I try, as does the whole committee, to set party allegiance to one side.”

There is a knighthood for Prof Vernon Bogdanor, David Cameron’s old Oxford University tutor at Brasenose College.

Peter Kellner, the former president of pollsters YouGov, becomes a CBE.

There is a second knighthood for ex-Cabinet Secretary Lord Mark Sedwill, who clashed with Boris Johnson during his time in No10.

Britain's ambassadors to Ukraine and Russia, Melinda Simmons and Deborah Bronnert, both receive damehoods.

Nanny who raised £190k to help those fleeing Ukraine

A nanny shocked by the plight of Ukrainian children has been honoured for her charity fundraising.

Louenna Hood, 38, scoops a British Empire Medal after raising £190,000 to help people fleeing the war-torn country.

Louenna, of Newmarket, Cambs, organised the delivery of container loads of essentials directly to refugees who crossed the border into safe countries.

She said: “Back in February when the war broke out we could all see what was happening through the news.

“It really just broke my heart to think that people were being told to leave their homes.

“Myself, knowing how much stuff you need just for one baby to get out for the day, I couldn’t imagine being told you had to leave your home with simply what you could carry.

“It was about three days after war broke out that my friend who is Polish, lives in England, sent me pictures of her city back home saying there were hundreds of families walking into their city with nothing.”

Mother who spearheaded Helen's Law

A murder victim's mother whose legal fight triggered a law change over the release of killers who fail to reveal vital information is made an MBE.

Backed an award-winning Mirror campaign, Marie McCourt spearheaded Helen’s Law after her daughter vanished near their home in St Helens, Merseyside, in 1988 aged 22.

Local pub landlord Ian Simms was jailed for her murder despite her body never being found and was released in 2020 before his death earlier this year.

Mrs McCourt's campaigning following her daughter's death led to the Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act, dubbed Helen's Law, being enacted in 2021.

The legislation makes it harder for killers and paedophiles who hold back information on their victims to receive parole.

Mrs McCourt, 79, said: "I couldn't believe it.

"All these years I've done - it's nice to see people be given these awards... who have had to do things which have hurt them so much because of the reasons why they want to make sure our laws are right and correct."

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Fukhera Khalid. Managing Director, Elbrook Cash and Carry. For services to Business, to Charity and to the community in North London. (Great Warley, Essex)

See source for full list

Source: Mirror