Olympians and Paralympians to get own honours list

Jessica Ennis celebrates winning heptathlon Gold medal winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis could be among those in line for an honour

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Britain's Olympians and Paralympians are to get their own honours list, rather than simply being included in the New Year's Honours.

David Cameron has decided to place awards arising from the London 2012 Games outside the usual system.

There has been no official confirmation of a separate honours list but Whitehall sources have told the BBC it will happen.

They said it would reflect the scale of achievement by British athletes.

The 29 gold medals at the London games and more than 100 medals so far at the Paralympics had raised expectations that champions such as Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds would be recognised.

'Good news'

The prime minister's official spokesman said no official announcement would would be made at this stage.

But he added: "The prime minister is very keen to recognise people who contributed to the very successful Olympics and Paralympics."

Johnnie Peacock who won the T44 100m said he was pleased by the decision.

Mr Peacock said: "That is good news. It's good to hear that he's obviously supporting everything and you know this country really has pushed the Olympics and Paralympics and they really are getting behind everyone so it's great to see the support that even he's given."

Dame Tessa Jowell, the former Labour Olympics minister, has also welcomed the move.

"Like any system, of course it should constantly be kept under review and make sure that its rules and the people who are being honoured are the people who reflect just dessert in the broader country," she said.

Public support

There was also general support among spectators attending events at the Olympic Park on Friday for a separate honours list.

Sam Morgan, who is from Australia but now lives in London, said: "I guess the hardest thing is to decide who is going to get the honours.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller: "I think it's a fantastic recognition"

"Difficult to say whether it should just be the gold medallists or all the people who have put in so much work."

Adrienne Hughes, from Suffolk, said: "I think it's a good idea as long as they have some of the Games Makers in that list.

"They are all so lovely, so helpful and smile and the separate list would be brilliant if they do that."

Speculation that Britain's Olympic heroes would miss out on honours was triggered last month by a senior civil servant, Jonathan Stephens, who told the BBC medals would not mean an "automatic gong".

Honours are awarded for exceptional achievement or service, twice every year - at New Year, and in mid-June - and are decided by a Whitehall committee and not the government.

The sport committee, which is chaired by Olympic chief Lord Coe, is strictly limited as to the number of gongs it can award per year.

Baroness Grey-Thompson - herself an 11 time paralympic gold medallist - and sits on the sporting honours committee previously told the BBC that they were able to award "one or two" knighthoods, a "few more" CBEs, "more" OBEs and "up to 45-50 MBEs".

By giving Olympic and Paralympic athletes their own honours list Downing Street can ensure that there is no limit on the number of awards handed out.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    I sincerely hope that David Beckham is knighted for not only his services to sport but for his tremendous charity work also. The man is one of Britain's finest ambassadors.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    I feel that honours should be for people who contribute over a period of time rather than just one off events. For sports stars there should also be an element of putting smething back into their sport rather than purely performance based. Labour turned the honours into a beauty parade and devalued their worth. Time to return them to there former glory.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    This is a complete farce as is the Honours and Awards system in total. Agree with past comments: being an olympian is recognition of the highest order & getting either one of the 3 medals a fitting reward for all the hard work etc. lets leave it at that. Just another smokescreen by failed politicians to try & deflect the terrible mess the UK & Europe finds itself in due to years of incompetence!

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    At the same time as we find out that the government has been giving out honours as consolation prizes to sacked male government ministers. Can we not even have the decency of a week between announcements to give the impression of decency?

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    @60.insurrection2012, if this was a new idea then yes it would be a problem but Labour started this by handing out MBE's and OBE's for this time of thing.

    I personally dont care if they get an honour or not, though some do deserve it, especially those that work with youth groups to promote the sport or have had a life time of achievement and retired.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    I've worked for 42 years, always paid my tax, no criminal record, have always got involved in community and sports projects and I don't expect an award. Most people do the right thing. Getting an MBE for a single sports event is not right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    "but Whitehall sources have told the BBC it will happen"

    So the BBC are aware that civil servants are breaching their Non-Disclosure Agreements and not informing the authorities of this, doesn't that make them accessories to crime?

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    A reception with the royals and a photo would be more appropriate considering the no.s involved. If anyone needs recognition over and above they do it the normal way- IF it is really necessary this year as opposed to all the years before.

    Honours (medals and certs.)should only be given to those who do things without recompense(of any kind) for the good of society.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    What is the point ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    Listen, if you stop all the cronies getting something aka those who have given money to political party's or because the've been sacked from a political post etc...THERE ARE AWARDS A PLENTY for those that really deserve them!

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Let's have honours for Lottery winners too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    Absolutely pointless!

    For pity's sake they are all just 'sportsmen and women. No more, no less. Not heroes, not stars, just sports folk.

    Many, if not all, medal winners will benefit both financially and otherwise and the medals alone are more than sufficient reward.

    Few will ever do anything truly significant for the community at large, especially once the glory of the moment has worn off.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    Honours should be awarded for exceptional achievement and/or service over an extended period, not for winning at one competition,

    This seems to be another extension of the British obsession with "Celebrity" which is bought into by the media and politicians alike.

    In the same vein, the X-factor is on again - look forward to headlines about "stars" who've been on TV for a couple of minutes!

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    31. Me. There are children in this country who are going to school and caring at home for invalid parents, without pay or recognition. They are the real heroes, they are the unsung forgotten, they deserve to be honored above all else, Cameron doesn't care and it is this state of affairs that makes me want to vomit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Agree with many others here. Winning gold should be reward enough for the athlete. Give gongs to those who devoted years to getting them there (and training and supporting the many others who weren't quite as good too). If these athletes go on to do good for others - let them be rewarded then. Besides, is it Cameron's remit to say this - what does the Queen reckon?

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick of this country's corrupt honours system. Are these people really worth more to society than the care workers who spend their working lives cleaning up other people for minimum wage? Send your answers on a postcard to Dave Cameron, 10 Downing Street SW1

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    I hope they invent an award for the Games Makers as well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    vote catching kneee jerk in the light of British obsession wit celebrity.
    ill Mike Kenney be getting his gong, 25 years late?

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    The best thing to do with the honours system would be to abolish it completely, along with life peerages and other abuses of the state.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    How tedious.The establishment jumping on an opportunity to validate itself.

    - Do the Medals, adoration and sponsorship these 'athletes' receive not suffice?


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