Fri, 26 May 2023 at 12:00 am BST
More knight and damehoods are set to be given to northerners, as officials have been told to “level up” the system.
Rishi Sunak instructed civil servants to prioritise under-represented areas of the country, after a government audit showed that people living in London and the southeast were more than twice as likely to be given one of the honours.
“The prime minister is determined to make sure our honours represent the length and breadth of the country,” Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said in an instruction to the chairs of ten specialist honours committees, according to the Times.
“He has tasked us with levelling up the system so that it captures every corner of the UK — particularly regions that have too often been under-represented.
“He has also set a key — and often overlooked — priority when rewarding public servants: to recognise those who have saved the taxpayer money. The government is here to serve the British people; it is our duty to make sure we are delivering value for money on their behalf wherever we can.”
He added that ministers want officials to ensure that awards are not solely dominated by the “London Metropolitan elite”, but are also given to those who have made exceptional contributions to regional communities.
“We need to level up the honours system because some parts of the country are not getting their fair share,” a source told the paper.