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 339.

    It is a pleasure to see honours going to people who are loved and admired by the Nation, and not just to those who have the patronage of the Prime minister and those bureaucrats who rubber-stamp the honours we see being dished out to people we have never even heard of.

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    337. Jon

    there is more skill involved in dressage than probably any other sport,
    Oh behave.

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    334. RedGrandslam Check facts before you type rubbish, British Dressage alone has 14000 registered members and 11000 registered horses, there is more skill involved in dressage than probably any other sport, what do you think happens ? jump on a horse say giddy up and win a gold medal,

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    Because a golden postbox isn't enough...

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    We ought to be pressing governments to abolish all honours.

    They are tainted with favouritism and elitism. They are wide open to abuse, and they do nothing to unite people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    Honours for what. Isn't getting a medal the honour. I refuse to honour someone who getsan honor for winning thedressage. I mean how many people in the world get the opportunity to do dressage. I bet its a couple of thousand worldwide. why i dressage an olympic sport?

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    More corruption and political pantomime by the Tories to take our attention off their dismal attempts to revive the UK economy.

    When are you going to give us the new jobs you promised Cameron and Clegg ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    I Find it Weird that the organisation is called LOCOG

    LO rd C oe's O lympic G ames?

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    Shouldn't we rename it the dishonours system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    What worries me is that athletes, soccer players and other sports people now think its almost a god given right to not only win gold silver or bronzel but also an MBE or whatever. It devalues the honours system, these people have done well and won a medal, surely thats enough? As for Knighthoods for getting more than one gold, what the hell are we doing, its a mockery. Im not jealous but realistic

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    326. rockandhardplace Just makes me laugh when people call this country second rate, this so called second rate country has just staged the best Olympics ever followed by the greatest Paralympics in history, who says so ? the athletes do, never before has a paralympics sold out until now.
    The people make a country what it is, so if you think its second rate look in the mirror.

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    Let there be no doubt. This years honours list will be full of the althletes who went to posh schools who will get all the top honours. The minor honours will go to the riff-raff only if they are 1) good looking women, 2) don't embarass the Establishment by being from dubious ethnic minorities, 3) went to to a posh school, 4) didn't eat their flowers at the paralympics medals ceremonony.

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    @ 322 Big Dogs Only
    Pictures from Mars are amazing.
    So are pictures of people doing amazing things here on earth.

    I watched the landing on the moon back in 1969, but in terms of human achievement on a daily basis, I'd rather cite our paralympic athletes as achievable role models

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    323. Jon - Knowing this whinging lot I am amazed that your comment is still in the positive approval rating. If I could I would agree with you ten fold. A common sense comment at last.

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    If there is one group in recent times that deserve honours its the Paralympians. These are people with serious disabilities, who could have easily felt sorry for themselves, and sat around doing nothing. But they didnt, despite their disability, they go off their asses, and put their heart and soul into something. Perhaps the unemployable, as well as the bankers, could take a lesson from them,

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    I thank each and every Olympian/Para Olympian for the joy they have given the nation this year, but I do have a problem with the concept of giving honours to people simply because they have done their job well. However, until the revolution comes, I would far rather give them honours, than Cameron handing them out to the people he pushed out this week, which he has done!

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    Who said every athlete will get an honour ? Nobody, as for Doctors or engineers never getting anything try looking at the honours list once in a while, plenty get the recognition they deserve, if you know somebody that deserves an honour get off your backsides and nominate them.
    As for this country being second rate, this country is fine thanks, some of the people on the other hand ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    We do have it wrong. The same day that pictures were being sent from Mars, We were cheering a guy jumping into a sandpit. We've lost all sense of perspective.

  • rate this

    Comment number 321.

    Another stupid idea from public school "call me dave". We have an honours system to reward to those athletes who have done the country proud. The fact that he wants to set up a seperate athletes group right away devalues them. I suppose if he has to reward all those outstanding athletes, he wont have enough left for his corrupt business chums that have donated to the tory party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 320.

    @ 315.

    so, go nominate ...

    it's in your gands


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