Peerage for Blair spokesman

New year honours for Blair's team
New year honours for Blair's team

Tony Blair's former official spokesman has been awarded a CBE in the year's new year's honours list.

He is one of few people from the former prime minister's team to be rewarded in this year's honour's list.

Tom Kelly provoked controversy as one of the prime minister's official spokesmen when he described the government scientist David Kelly as a "Walter Mitty character". He later apologised following Dr Kelly's suicide.

Dr Kelly took his own life after becoming embroiled in the row between the BBC and Number 10 over the broadcaster's coverage of the "Dodgy Dossiers" account of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Former Downing Street special adviser Liz Lloyd has been awarded an OBE, as has Wendy Abbs, a former duty clerk at Number 10.

The permanent secretaries at the Ministry of Defence and Northern Ireland office also receive knighthoods in this year's honours list.

Richard Summersgill, the director of the Child Benefit and Tax Credit Offices, will receive a CBE in a move that is reported to have caused tension in Whitehall as the investigation into the lost child benefit data is still ongoing

The majority of this year's recipients are what Gordon Brown terms the "unsung heroes", with more than three-quarters of those receiving a MBE and OBE being rewarded for their charitable work.

Upon taking office, Mr Brown promised to clean up the honours system, with Labour then still struggling to recover from the cash-for-peerages investigation.

The government is set to publish a white paper on honours reform in the new year.

It is expected to be heavily influenced by the by select committee on public administration, which recommended the prime minister cut the "marketable value" of a peerage.


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