Birthday Honours

Subpostmasters’ champion Alan Bates is knighted

Honoured: Alan Bates, Celia Hodson and Mark Tucker

Alan Bates, who campaigned to over-turn wrongful convictions of subpostmasters, has been knighted for services to justice. 

Mr Bates, who previously turned down an OBE, said he felt able to accept the honour after Paula Vennells, the former Post Office chief executive, handed back her CBE.

His story was told in the ITV drama Mr Bates versus the Post Office which prompted s public outcry and led to convictions being overturned.

He said he would receive the honour “on behalf of everyone” who has fought for subpostmasters,

Mr Bates is among more than a thousand individuals named in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours List for their contributions to driving forward positive and innovative change and who use creativity and collaboration to develop new ideas which bring impact and value.

They include business leaders Mark Tucker, chairman of HSBC, Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, Greg Jackson of Octopus Energy, Alastair Davis, who runs an impact investing company, Celia Hodson, who has promoted period dignity, and Derek Provan, former chief executive of Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has been appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour for public and charitable service in the UK and abroad.

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown: Order of the Companions of Honour (pic: Terry Murden)

The artist Tracey Emin and actor Imela Staunton become Dames, while knighthoods are handed to financial services leader Mark Tucker, chairman of HSBC and a former chief executive at AIA Group and Prudential, is knighted.

Until recently, he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Build Back Better Business Council, and Chair of TheCityUK until May 2022. He has also served on the Court of The Bank of England, and on the board of the Goldman Sachs Group. Also knighted is the historian Niall Ferguson.

Among those made CBE are Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of Perth-based energy company SSE. He has overseen £40bn of investment towards the transition to net zero.

Alistair Phillips-Davies: CBE

Other CBEs go to Jennifer Daly, the chief executive of housebuilder Taylor Wimpey; Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy; Armando Iannucci, the film and TV writer, director and producer; Monica Ali, the writer; Claire Enders, founder, Enders Analysis; Rab Forman, former chairman of the Scottish Conservatives; Graeme Souness, former footballer; and Alan Yentob, broadcaster and television executive;

OBEs go to Derek Provan, former chief executive of Aberdeen and Glasgow airports; Ally McCoist, former footballer; Sandy Lyle, golfer; Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland; Celia Hodson, founder and chief executive officer of Hey Girls; Jane Spiers, chair of the National Theatre of Scotland; Jenny Brown, literature; and Rabinder Buttar for services to innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in business and to life sciences.

Simon Le Bon, the Duran Duran frontman and ambassador for the Tall Ships Youth Trust, which runs sailing trips for disadvantaged young people across the UK, is awarded an MBE for services to music and charity. Stephen Gallacher, the Scottish golfer, also receives the MBE.

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