Knighthood for Nick Clegg's fiercest critic

New Year Honours: Politics
  • @NigelpMorris

One of Nick Clegg's fiercest Liberal Democrat critics and a former pirate radio jockey have been knighted.

Bob Russell first won Colchester for the Liberal Democrats in 1997. He has been a constant thorn in the Deputy Prime Minister's side, rebelling against increases to university tuition fees and the rise in VAT.

Roger Gale was a broadcaster, whose career began at Radio Caroline before he was elected as the MP for Thanet North in 1983. He has an unorthodox combination of views, including support for capital punishment and opposition to fox hunting.

The former minister Joan Ruddock, an MP for 24 years, becomes a dame. She came to prominence in the 1980s as chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Two senior civil servants are made Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath. They are Jeremy Heywood, who has worked under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron and will tomorrow succeed Sir Gus O'Donnell as the Cabinet Secretary, and Alex Allan, who has just retired as head of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Lord Carlile of Berriew, a former Liberal Democrat MP who served for 10 years as the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, is appointed CBE for services to national security.

New Year Honours List 2012:  
* Knights Bachelor
* Order of the Bath
* Royal Victorian Order, Royal Victorian Medal, and Colonial Police and Fire Service Medal
* Order of the British Empire, Civil - GBE, DBE, CBE
* Order of the British Empire, Civil - OBE
* Order of the British Empire, Civil - MBE
* Diplomatic Services and Overseas List
* Commonwealth
* Military Division
* Sundries