Ringo Starr and Nick Clegg given knighthoods in New Year Honours

The Beatles' Ringo Starr and Bee Gees co-founder Barry Gibb have been awarded knighthoods in the New Year Honours, alongside a string of political figures including former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and key Tory backbencher Graham Brady.

Saturday, 30th December 2017, 8:55 am
Updated Saturday, 30th December 2017, 9:29 am
Ringo Starr and Nick Clegg have both been awarded knighthoods.

Gibb, who is recognised for his services to music and charity, dedicated the honour to his late brothers and former bandmates and said: ‘The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life.’

The musicians are joined on the list by Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell, 48, who said she was ‘truly humbled’ to become a dame for services to dance, and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, who is knighted for services to literature and charity.

In a short message, signed off with his trademark phrase, 77-year-old Starr said: ‘It’s great! It’s an honour and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love. Ringo.’

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‘Deeply honoured’

Gibb, 71, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, said he was ‘deeply honoured, humbled, and very proud’ to be recognised, adding: ‘This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten.

‘I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour. It is as much theirs as it is mine.’

Morpurgo, 74, who previously received an OBE, said he had Joey, the equine character from the 1982 children’s book which became a hit international play, to thank for his knighthood.

He said: ‘There was never a knight that has owed so much to his horse as this one - and in fact, we will give the knighthood to Joey and call him Sir Joey.’

Newspaper leaks

Details of the knighthood of former deputy prime minister and prominent Remain campaigner Sir Nick, 50, were the subject of early newspaper reports. His award has provoked criticism among some Brexiteers.

Conservative MPs Graham Brady, 50, chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, 64, and Christopher Chope, 70, receive knighthoods for political and public service while Cheryl Gillan, 65, vice chairman of the committee, is made a dame.

On the Labour side, Preston MP Mark Hendrick, 59, and Commons Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, 60, are knighted.

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said Tory MPs were being rewarded for ‘services to the establishment’, while SNP Cabinet Office spokesman Tommy Sheppard warned that honours ‘should not be doled out political favours’.

Asked if he would like to be included in a future honours list, Mr Farage said: ‘It’s never been an aspiration for me but an aspiration for many who support me. What will be will be.’

No Grenfell honours

There are no honours for those involved in the response to recent terror attacks or the Grenfell Tower fire with left 71 people dead.

But the Cabinet Office said they are expected to be recognised in future honour lists.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Detailed consideration is given to all honours nominations received and this takes time.

’We would expect to see a number of nominations reflecting recent tragedies and events in future lists, and encourage those in affected communities to put forward nominations.’