Brexiteers lead political recipients in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Former business secretary Andrea Leadsom is joined on the honours list by Oliver Lewis, a veteran of the Vote Leave campaign.

Andrea Leadsom
Andrea Leadsom

Brexiteers are among those to have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, with Conservative former minister Andrea Leadsom leading the political recipients by being made a dame.

The former 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, former business secretary Dame Andrea resigned as leader of the House of Commons in 2019 amid a backlash against Theresa May’s Brexit plan.

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

Cabinet meeeting
The former business secretary has been made a dame (Aaron Chown/PA)

The South Northamptonshire MP, who entered Parliament in 2010 after a 25-year career in banking and finance, has been honoured with a damehood for her political service.

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

He reportedly told friends his position as head of Downing Street’s Union unit was made “untenable” by others within Number 10.

It came amid a bitter power struggle which saw the dramatic departures of former Vote Leave figures – and allies of Mr Lewis – Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain.

Dame Andrea said she is “deeply honoured” to be recognised, adding: “It is an immense privilege to be recognised for service to politics.”

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

NHS crisis
Meg Hillier has scrutinised public spending during the pandemic (PA)

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

Honoured alongside experts who transformed the UK’s pandemic response, the MP for Rochdale is among those to have battled Covid-19 – having spent 25 days in hospital, 10 of which were on a ventilator.

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 told the PA news agency.

Brexit
Mary Creagh lost her seat in the 2019 general election (Danny Lawson/PA)

“This honour is for the people of Wakefield and all those who have so generously shared their time and talents with me.

“I hope it encourages everyone working to tackle climate change and protect the environment to keep the faith.”

Anne Longfield, children’s commissioner for England until earlier this year, said it was a “great and a fantastic honour” to have been made a CBE, which she is “really proud” of.

“Clearly the last year has been a hugely significant year for children and young people in how they try to cope with Covid,” she told PA.

She said her role prior to stepping down in February had been a “big responsibility” especially in representing young people “around the issue of when schools should reopen”.

She added: “I’m continuing to advocate for children.”

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