Knighted – for services to high gas prices and Cadbury's demise?

Roger Carr, the tycoon who saw through the sale of the 200-year-old British company Cadbury to the US multinational Kraft in February, has been knighted for services to industry in today's New Year Honours list.

Sir Roger was praised by the City for getting a good deal for shareholders when the Cadbury sale went through in February. Since then Kraft has announced that it is moving the firm's headquarters to Switzerland to avoid UK tax, at a probable cost of thousands of UK jobs.

The award is doubly controversial because Sir Roger also chairs Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, which recently announced a 7 per cent price hike. Soon after that announcement, Centrica raised its full year profit forecast to more than £2.2bn. The regulator, Ofgem, is holding an inquiry into whether major energy companies are "lining their pockets".

His appearance on the New Year Honours list runs counter to the Downing Street spin that the 2011 list principally recognises those who have contributed to David Cameron's idea of the Big Society. Just under three-quarters of the 997 people on today's list are said to be "local heroes who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities".

They include the fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, who has spent most of her career trying to annoy the very establishment that has now accorded her recognition. Her T-shirts, emblazoned with political or anarchic slogans, were a favourite vehicle of protest in the 1980s.

Hamnett was even photographed sporting a T-shirt with the slogan "58% Don't Want Pershing" (nuclear missiles) as she shook hands with the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Today the 63-year-old is appointed a CBE for her 40-year contribution to fashion and her battle to introduce "ethical" techniques in place of sweatshop labour.

Also on the list is an array of philanthropists, ranging from the very rich, such as the publisher Lord Weidenfeld, who is appointed a CBE for his public service, and Dr Marjorie Ziff, for the 60 years she has spent supporting projects and events in Leeds.

Two MPs have been included for the first time since the expenses scandal. Labour's Anne Begg, the only MP confined to a wheelchair, is made a Dame for services to the disabled, and Peter Bottomley, who has been a Conservative MP since 1975 but never progressed beyond the lower rungs of government, has received a knighthood.

The 19 knights also include Professor Keith Porter, lead clinician at the Birmingham centre for treating casualties from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and Martin Broughton, who is knighted for his stewardship of British Airways, though recently he has been more in the news as the chairman and reputed saviour of Liverpool FC.

The historian Antonia Fraser and the actress Harriet Walter are also made Dames.

The costume designer Sandy Powell, who is appointed an OBE, is more used to receiving Oscars than honours. She won her third this year for The Young Victoria. Her previous wins were for Shakespeare in Love in 1998 and The Aviator in 2004.

As usual, there are other famous names from the worlds of art, entertainment and sport, including the actors David Suchet and Sheila Hancock, the singer Annie Lennox, the folk musician Richard Thompson, the rugby coach Mike Catt and Howard Webb, who refereed the World Cup final.

But none is quite so well known as Simon Cowell, whose name was notably absent despite confident predictions that he was to receive a knighthood. Unlike failed contestants in The X Factor, the show he created, he will get many more chances.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Barnardo's: Corporate Audit and Inspection – Retail Intern (Leeds)

Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work: Barnardo's: Purpose ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Receptionist

£15000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Barnardo's: Young Carers Wirral Intern

Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work upon production of rec...

Barnardo's: Business Development Intern (West Midlands)

Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work: Barnardo's: Purpose ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future