First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to the Scottish recipients of awards in The Queen’s New Year Honours list – but has mysteriously left out any mention of the former Labour MP Tom Clark from the official press announcement, although he is reported by BBC Scotland to have been awarded a knighthood.
The Scottish government media office could give no explanation for the omission, although Sir Tom was the first person mentioned in the BBC Scotland report of the awards.
Professor Francis McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Stirling, has been honoured with a Knighthood for services to education and to the economy.
Professor Ian Finlay, Professor Bashabi Fraser, Professor Sheila Rowan MBE and Professor Petra Wend will receive CBEs.
Recipients of an OBE include Dr Heather Bacon, Michael Bullock and Michael Tobias.
Those honoured with an MBE include Rosemary Brewster, Christine Campbell, Ronald and Joyce Loveland, Kenneth Macdonald, Abdul Majid, Marie Shevas and Jacqueline Winning.
Amongst those awarded a BEM are Maxine Allan, Desmond Cheyne, Swaran Chowdhary, James Foxley, John Gilfillan, Patricia Holt, Jamie Kinlochan, Jennifer McCartney, Charlotte Park, Mohammed Rakq, Graham Watson and Linda Yule.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The New Year Honours list highlights the exceptional contributions of the people of Scotland whose outstanding service and dedication has made a lasting contribution to communities the length and breadth of our country. Their service, in fields ranging from the arts, education and sport to charity, community and science, has benefited people right across society.
“The response to the coronavirus pandemic this year has seen countless people bravely and selflessly go above and beyond their usual duties. It is right that many of them are being honoured, and we continue to be incredibly grateful for their actions during this period.
“I also want to extend my congratulations to emergency service personnel who have been awarded The Queen’s Fire, Police or Ambulance Service Medals. Our emergency services deserve our continued gratitude for helping to keep people and communities across Scotland safe every day of the year and, of course, especially in these unprecedented times.”
The list, that rewards public service during 2020, names volunteers, scientists and politicians.
Sir Tom Clark’s name is at the top of the list in the BBC Scotland report which states: “Long-serving former Labour MP Tom Clarke is one of two Scots to be awarded a knighthood. He joins Stirling University’s vice chancellor, Prof Francis Gerard McCormac in receiving the title.”
The former Coatbridge MP, who was appointed film and tourism minister in Tony Blair’s first cabinet, served in the UK Parliament between 1982 and 2015.
He has been made a knight for his public and political service, while Professor McCormac received his knighthood for services to education and the economy.
The list includes dozens of people who volunteered during the coronavirus pandemic, including individuals who found new ways to reach vulnerable people, and providers of practical and emotional support to NHS staff and infected patients.
Jamie Kinlochan began preparing for a lockdown weeks before it was announced by the prime minister in March. The 35-year-old from Paisley is being awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for his work with Who Cares Scotland? in which he set up a helpline for vulnerable people who could not get access to the support they needed.
It saw about £150,000 given to needy people through cash and supplies between March and July. Mr Kinlochan said: “For me, this is really important and it feels really validating. I just had an idea but it took a massive team of people to get it off the ground.”
Scotland’s former auditor general, Caroline Gardner, has been made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to the Scottish public sector.
Ms Gardner was involved in a number of checks on the financial dealings of West Dunbartonshire Council in recent years.
After stepping down from the role earlier this year, Ms Gardner was appointed to an advisory panel by the Scottish government to examine and set out options for the creation of a National Care Service.
Professor Sheila Rowan, director of the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow and chief scientific adviser for Scotland, has also been made a CBE for services to science.
Prof Rowan’s research helped first identify gravitational waves by developing optical materials for use in detectors.
Her recent work has been a “crucial part” of the Advanced Laser Interferometry Gravitational-wave Observatory (Ligo) upgrades, carried out between 2010 and 2015, that contributed to one of the “most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century”, the first detection of gravitational waves announced in February 2016.
Professor Rowan said: “I’m surprised but delighted. During my career I’ve been lucky enough to work with hugely talented people, in the UK and from around the world.”
‘Dedication, compassion and kindness’
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack congratulated all the winners. He said: “The Honours list demonstrates the wealth of talent and commitment in Scotland’s science, education, sport and public life. We should all be proud of our country’s outstanding achievements in these fields.
“Her Majesty has also recognised the dedication, compassion and kindness of so many ordinary people up and down the UK. As we all know too well, 2020 has been a year like no other. So many Scots have gone above and beyond in supporting friends, neighbours and their wider community during the pandemic.
“These are not people who seek the limelight, so I’m very glad that so many of those local heroes have been recognised by Her Majesty.”