Labour's reform architect honoured

The architect of Labour's public sector reforms has been rewarded with a knighthood. Michael Barber, the head of Tony Blair's Downing Street Delivery Unit, made his name at the Department for Education and Skills.

As head of the DfES's Standards and Effectiveness Unit, he drove through the introduction of the national literacy and numeracy hour in primary schools. He announced his departure from Downing Street after the general election.

This year's Birthday Honours are free from the traditional clutch of gongs for politicians. No peerages are included in the list.

Among the senior civil servants honoured is Gus O'Donnell, permanent secretary at the Treasury, who is given a knighthood. He is tipped to be the next Cabinet Secretary later this year.

The head of MI5, Elizabeth Manningham-Buller is awarded the rare honour of Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath, the second woman to hold the post in its 95-year history.

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