New Year Honours: Cherie Blair recognised for services to women


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The man who was in charge of regulating Britain's banks in the run-up to the near-collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax/Bank of Scotland (HBOS) is to be knighted.

In a controversial decision, Hector Sants, the former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has been recognised for services to financial regulation despite his leading role in an organisation accused of being "asleep at the wheel" before the collapse of Northern Rock. Sir Hector also rubber-stamped RBS's disastrous acquisition of ABN Amro, which contributed to its downfall. He has since won praise for his work reforming the FSA but resigned this year and caused further controversy by joining Barclays as its head of compliance. He is believed to be in line for a £3m pay package.

A less controversial honour goes to Cherie Blair who is created CBE for services to women's issues and charity. Mrs Blair, 58, is patron of Breast Cancer Care, Refuge and Scope, and is a former president of Barnados.

There are few MPs on the list but the first female Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, becomes a Dame, while the rebellious Conservative backbencher Richard Shepherd is knighted.

The new Metropolitan Police commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, also gets a knighthood, as does the Transport for London commissioner, Peter Hendy. Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, is appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

Ursula Brennan, Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Justice, is made a Dame, while the former EastEnders actor turned MEP, Michael Cashman, is created CBE.

Further reading:

New Year Honours: Plain old Mister will do, says Bradley Wiggins - Britain's two-wheeled knight

New Year Honours: Quentin Blake knighted, Kate Bush appointed CBE

New Year Honours: 'Death Valley Jack' shocked by his honour

New Year Honours: Praise for the 'normal people' who get Britain ticking

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