New Year Honours: Gay rights and Hillsborough campaigners receive awards

 

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The Independent Online

Campaigners for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster and gay rights lead those in the sphere of public life and politics who are honoured.

Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James was among the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the 1989 tragedy, receives a CBE after decades as one of the driving forces in the battle to secure a fresh inquest into the deaths.

Mrs Aspinall, who is chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, was instrumental along with fellow bereaved parent Trevor Hicks in overcoming the legal and bureaucratic barriers that prevented a new inquiry into the stadium disaster.

She said she was accepting the award, which has been announced while the new inquests are still ongoing, on behalf of all those involved in the Hillsborough campaign: “I feel so humble about it, I really do… People are seeing now, the real people, what the genuine people are like, and the people who stood by the families and stayed with them all these years. So it’s for them as well.”

 

Also honoured is a founding member of a charity which supports the parents of gay and bisexual sons and daughters. Jenny Broughton, 80, helped set up Fflag (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) more than 20 years after her own daughter came out at the age of 17 and she found there was “a great desert of help” for gay people and their relatives.

The librarian, who is made an MBE, helped campaign against the draconian Section 28 legislation which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Fflag runs a helpline for relatives and friends of gay people as well as campaigning for equality.

Mrs Broughton said: “I’m very proud because I do feel that it is an honour not just for me but for Fflag.”

Sir David Manning, a former foreign affairs adviser to Tony Blair, is made a knight commander of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen for his work as an aide to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

David Amess, the Conservative MP for Southend West, is also knighted.

* Full 2015 Honours List at gov.uk

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