Brexiteers lead political recipients in Queen’s birthday honours

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Former business secretary Andrea Leadsom given damehood (PA)
Former business secretary Andrea Leadsom given damehood (PA)

Leading Brexiteers are among those to have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list, with Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom given a damehood.

The former Tory business secretary is joined on the honours list by Oliver Lewis, a veteran of the Vote Leave campaign who is made a CBE for political and public service.

A prominent Brexiteer, Dame Andrea resigned as leader of the Commons in 2019 amid a backlash against Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal plan.

She had previously entered the fray to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservatives in 2016 but withdrew from the race, clearing the way for Mrs May to become the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Mr Lewis has been made a CBE just months after he quit as Boris Johnson’s main adviser on combatting the threat of Scottish independence – less than a fortnight into the role.

He reportedly told friends his position at the so-called “union unit” was made “untenable” by others at No 10. It came amid a bitter power struggle which saw the exit of Mr Lewis’ allies Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain.

Dame Andrea said she is “deeply honoured” to be recognised on this year’s list, adding: “It is an immense privilege to be recognised for service to politics.”

Elsewhere in politics, influential Labour MP Meg Hillier – who chairs the Public Accounts Committee which has scrutinised public spending during the pandemic – is made a dame.

Labour MP Tony Lloyd gets a knighthood for his public service, while Conservative deputy Lords leader Earl Howe is honoured with the Knights Grand Cross.

Former Labour MP for Wakefield Mary Creagh, who lost her seat in the 2019 election, said she was “honoured and surprised” to be made a CBE for her services to parliament and politics.

“I am delighted that my work in government, shadow cabinet and as chair of the environmental audit committee has been recognised,” she said. “I hope it encourages everyone working to tackle climate change and protect the environment to keep the faith.”

Labour MP Meg Hillier made dame (PA)
Labour MP Meg Hillier made dame (PA)

The former civil servant who investigated bullying allegations against home secretary Priti Patel last year was also recognised on this year’s list.

Helen MacNamara, the ex-deputy cabinet secretary, has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath. She left her top government role earlier this year for a new job with the Premier League.

Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England until earlier this year, who was highly critical of the government’s record on child poverty, has been made a CBE. She described it as a “great and a fantastic honour” and said she would continue to advocate for children.

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