Andrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott rewarded in May’s honours list

Andrew Strauss, Cressida Dick and Geoffrey BoycottImage copyright Reuters/AFP/PA

Former cricketers Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss have been knighted in Theresa May’s resignation honours list.

Most of the 57 people on the list are political figures but Mrs May also made the first female Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, a dame.

Her No 10 housekeeper and Chequers head chef are awarded British Empire Medals.

Every prime minister has the right to draw up a resignation honours list on leaving office, which is submitted to the Cabinet Office for approval.

Mrs May announced her resignation in June after failing to get support for the withdrawal agreement she had negotiated for the UK to leave the EU.

The list of 37 men and 20 women includes members of Mrs May’s Downing Street staff, political aides and lifelong supporters of the Conservative Party – but her love of cricket also shines through.

Mrs May once compared her determination to delivering Brexit with the fighting spirit in Geoffrey Boycott’s batting marathons.

Telling journalists he was one of her sporting heroes, she said in November 2018: “Geoffrey Boycott stuck to it and he got the runs in the end.”

Boycott, along with former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, are both knighted for services to sport.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mrs May hosted a champagne reception for the England cricket team after their World Cup win in July

The former prime minister’s chief EU negotiator Olly Robbins has also received a knighthood. The senior civil servant helped to create Mrs May’s Brexit deal before it was defeated in Parliament three times.

Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, Mrs May’s former chiefs of staff, have become CBEs. Gavin Barwell, who replaced the pair in 2017, is one of eight new Conservative peers.

Sir Kim Darroch – who was forced to resign as ambassador to the US after comments he made about President Trump were leaked – has been made a crossbench peer. Boris Johnson, who was then running in the Tory leadership contest prior to becoming prime minister, was criticised at the time for not showing enough support for Sir Kim.

Meanwhile, one of Britain’s top police officers – who expressed concern at the leaks – has been made a dame.

Cressida Dick, whose police career started at the age of 23 after a brief spell working in a fish-and-chip shop, is one of just a few non-political figures on Mrs May’s list.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill were Mrs May’s closest advisers before the 2017 general election

Sir Simon Woolley, the founder of operation Black Vote, and Ruth Hunt, the ex-chief executive of Stonewall, have been made crossbench life peers, while BEMs have been awarded to Graham Howarth and Debra Wheatley – Mrs May’s head chef at Chequers and housekeeper at Downing Street respectively.

The list of peerages – which means those appointed get to sit in the House of Lords – include several nominated by other parties to sit on their benches.]

Among them are former NUT general secretary Christine Blower, for Labour, and former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who will become the party’s second peer in the House of Lords.

The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, said Mrs May’s list was “substantially smaller” than those drawn up by predecessors, helping to reduce the size of the House of Lords. “I hope that the current prime minister continues this policy of restraint,” he added.

Several MPs have received honours:

  • Sir Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales (Companion of Honour)
  • George Hollingbery, Conservative MP for Meon Valley (Knighthood)
  • David Lidington, Conservative MP for Aylesbury (Knighthood)
  • Charles Walker, Conservative MP for Broxbourne (Knighthood)
  • Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth (CBE)
  • Julian Smith, Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon (CBE)
  • Seema Kennedy, Conservative MP for South Ribble (OBE)

John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw and an independent government adviser on anti-Semitism, received a non-affiliated peerage. Mr Mann is standing down as MP, citing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.

Margaret Ritchie, who was leader of the SDLP in Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2011, also received a non-affiliated peerage. The former South Down MP made history in 2010 when she became the first leader of a nationalist party to wear a remembrance poppy.


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