New Year Honours List 2012: Roger Gale And Bob Russell Knighted (PICTURES)

Knighthoods For Roger Gale And Bob Russell

Roger Gale and Bob Russell have been knighted by Queen, in what must be their greatest achievement since winning the Westminster "Dog of the Year" competition and securing the parliamentary conkers trophy respectively.

Gale has been the Conservative MP for North Thanet since 1983 and, aside from a brief spell as a parliamentary aide to the armed forces minister in the early 1990s, he has spent the majority of his time in the Commons on the back-benches.

The Tory grandee is one of the Speakers panel of chairmen who oversee some parliamentary debates. He is also a member of the procedure committee, the group of MPs who help set the internal rules of the Commons. He has attacked some more web-savvy MPs for using Twitter while sat on the green benches.

Before entering Parliament, Gale was a producer for the BBC, working on programmes including Today and Radio 1's Newsbeat.

The Lib Dem MP for Colchester since 1997, Russell has been active in public life for over 30 years having been a long serving local councillor.

Russell, while known for wearing a garish Lib Dem-yellow waistcoat in the Commons, has also been a member of the Labour Party and the SDP.

He has served on the Lib Dem front bench as their home affairs, defence and as a whip. He currently sits on the Commons defence committee and the special committee set up to examine the operation of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority - the body that operates MPs expenses that he has been outspokenly critical of.

Also honoured by the Queen in 2012 are Baroness Hayman, the first ever elected Speaker of the House of Lords, who receives a GBE (Dame Grand Cross) and Labour's Joan Ruddock, MP for Lewisham Deptford and former climate change minister who gets a DBE.

Over the road from Parliament in Whitehall Jeremy Heywood, permanent secretary, Number 10 Downing Street, and a KCB for Alex Allan, lately Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. There is also a CB for James Bowler, principal private secretary, Number 10.


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