Major to announce reform of honours system

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The Independent Online
REFORMS to the honours system, to bring it up to date and make it more clearly reward merit, are about to be announced by Mr Major. The automatic nature of some awards for senior civil servants will be scrapped.

The military rank-based honours system, whereby officers can receive higher status medals than junior ranks for the same actions, will go too. For the civil system, with its strict hierarchies and gothic complexity, there will be reforms to cut the number of different awards and get greater flexibility.

There would not be 'huge dramatic changes', Mr Major said. But many in Whitehall are sure the first tranche of reforms, expected to be announced to the Commons today, will be followed by others as the system is stripped of some of its snobbery.