Rishi Sunak wants to “level up” the honours system to ensure that people in all parts of the UK are recognised, according to a new report.
Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, writing in the foreword to a new report on the operation of the honours system, said that the Prime Minister had tasked the Cabinet Office with “levelling up” the system.
It comes as new data revealed some of the regional disparities in the honours system.
In the new year’s honours list for 2023, 21% of recipients were from London – despite it making it up 13% of the UK population.
The East Midlands had 2.3% of recipients despite having a 7.2% population share.
The report notes that regional diversity “remains challenging”, pointing out that “Northern Ireland and London tend to have a greater number of recipients than would be expected from their share of the population”.
Mr Dowden said that Mr Sunak is “determined to make sure our honours represent the length and breadth of the country”.
“He has tasked us with ‘levelling up’ the system so that it captures every corner of the UK – particularly regions that have too often been underrepresented. He has also set a key – and often overlooked – priority when rewarding public servants, to recognise those who have saved the taxpayer money.
“The Government is here to serve the British people; it is our duty to make sure we are delivering value for money on their behalf wherever we can,” he wrote.