Queen's Birthday Honours 2019: Anti-FGM Campaigners, Holocaust Survivors and Spy Chiefs Recognised

Here are the celebrities, civil servants and campaigners being honoured by the Queen this year.

A victim of female genital mutilation has said she is “honoured” to receive an OBE for her efforts to prevent other girls being subjected to the practise.

Nimco Ali joins activists, Holocaust survivors and security chiefs recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Ali was awarded the honour for services to tackling FGM and gender inequality, alongside psychotherapist Dr Leyla Hussein, who was also a victim of the practice as a child.

Ali, 36, said she has been battling to break the silence among survivors since being told “this is what happens to girls like you” by a teacher when she was just seven years old.

But her work and that of other campaigners has now brought the issue to the forefront of the public consciousness.

“In 2019 we are at the tipping point,” she said. “I know by 2030 we can live in a world where FGM is not practised.”

Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images

Ali praised the work of the government in committing funding to tackling FGM in Africa, and said she was accepting the honour on behalf of all those affected by the practice in the continent.

“There are incredible women on the front line in Africa who are fighting to end FGM,” she said.

Dr Hussein now travels to countries around the world to campaign against FGM and said she uses the UK as a “great example”.

“For me, accepting this really is all of us accepting this award together because there’s lots of us doing this work. Me and Nimco are just doing a teeny, tiny bit of this,” she said.


Meanwhile, a senior civil servant who was grilled alongside Amber Rudd over the Windrush scandal has also been awarded.

It was revealed on Thursday that Glyn Williams – the director general responsible for borders, immigration and citizenship in the Home Office – had been made a companion in the Order of the Bath.

Williams appeared beside then-Home Secretary Rudd during the height of the Windrush scandal, which saw thousands of Afro-Caribbean people with the right to settle in the UK targeted under the government’s hostile environment policy.

“It is my view that all survivors who have not yet been recognised for their efforts should be”

- Karen Pollock, Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive

Holocaust survivors

Seven Holocaust survivors – Walter Kammerling, 95, Ernest Simon, 89, Gabrielle Keenaghan, 92, Ruzena Levy, 89, Ann and Bob Kirk, 90 and 94, and George Hans Vulkan, 89 – will all receive British Empire medals for services to Holocaust education.

Grandmother Mrs Levy, who survived the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland as a teenager, said she “never dreamt” she would receive an award.

The 89-year-old, who was born in former Czechoslovakia, came to Ireland after the war and later moved to England. She now lives in Golders Green, north London.

She told the Press Association: “The honour is a great surprise and appreciated by me and my family, and I’m proud for them, I really think it’s something that the whole family can share and talk about forever.”

Levy, who could not talk about her ordeal for 50 years, has visited hundreds of schools and her testimony became part of the curriculum for more than 20,000 students in Lewisham.

Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said survivors who continue to share their stories are providing a “public service” amid a climate of “rising anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and hate”.

She added: “It is my view that all survivors who have not yet been recognised for their efforts should be. We are indebted to all of you.”

Since 2009, 44 Holocaust survivors have been recognised with honours.

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Security chiefs

Head of MI5 Andrew Parker is recognised for public service following a 35-year career with the agency during which he led the response to the July 7 2005 London bombings.

According to the official citation, he has overseen the disruption of 27 attack plots since becoming director-general in 2013 and led the response to the wave of five terror atrocities in 2017.

“For me, although bestowed individually, this award recognises from the highest level the tireless work of all those at MI5 who strive every day to keep this country safe. MI5 is its people,” he said.

Alex Younger, the head of MI6, also receives a knighthood for services to national security.

He has been Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) – a position known as “M” – since November 2014 after a career of more than 20 years as an MI6 officer.

He is set to become the longest-serving MI6 chief since the 1960s after it was reported earlier this year that the former Army officer was expected to stay in the post beyond his November retirement date, in the interest of security stability post-Brexit.

Sir Michael Burton, head of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal – the body which keeps an eye on the spies – receives an upgrade on his honour, becoming a GBE.

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Sara Thornton, former chairwoman of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), is made a Dame.


Olivia Colman
Olivia Colman
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In the world of showbiz, The Favourite star Olivia Colman has been made a CBE for services to drama, while comedian Griff Rhys Jones will be presented the honour for services to the National Civic Society Movement, charity and entertainment.

Musicians across genres are also recognised, including rapper MIA with an MBE for her services to music after using the medium to shine a light on the politics of displacement across a 20-year career.

Elvis Costello’s five-decade span in the music industry will be marked with an OBE.

Sports stars are also being recognised by the Queen, with MBEs for Ama Agbeze, England netball captain, and British Open Golf champion Georgia Hall.

And world bowls champion Tony Allcock, who received an MBE 30 years ago, and former rugby player and hurdler Nigel Walker, in respect of his role as national director of the English Institute of Sport, will both receive OBEs.

Former QPR manager Chris Ramsay, who has played and coached in every division, is recognised with an MBE for services to football and diversity in sport.

Ramsay, who has been a champion for British black and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches, said he felt “humble” to be honoured alongside unsung heroes as a “mere football soldier”.

“I want people to realise that somebody like myself, from Holloway, with a humble upbringing, can be sat here with such an illustrious group of people and open doors for other people,” he said.

Of the 1,073 people honoured across the UK in this year’s list, 47% are women – slightly down on some previous lists – while 10.4% come from a BAME background – the highest ever, by a small margin, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, although the figure was 12% in this year’s New Year Honours list.

The oldest recipient is John Haymen, 100, who receives a BEM for services to the community in Binsted and Alton, Hampshire.

The youngest person honoured is 17-year-old Richard Collins, who is also given a BEM for services to the community in Cookstown, County Tyrone.

Other notable figures being honoured include:

Chief scout Bear Grylls, for services to young people, the media and charity, is honoured with an OBE.

Presenter and historian Dan Snow has been made an MBE for services to history in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Tunnock’s Teacake inventor Boyd Tunnock receives a knighthood for services to business and charity.

Richard Williams, a film executive who was instrumental in bringing Game Of Thrones to Northern Ireland, will receive an OBE.

Simon Woolley, director and a founder of Operation Black Vote, receives a Knights Bachelor.

Stuart Marks, a senior treasurer of the Conservative Party who has donates more than £160,000 to the part since 2013, receives a CBE for voluntary political service.

Fifteen foster carers who have looked after more than 1,000 children between them, receive MBEs.

Among the group are William Foster, 82, and his wife Margaret, known as Jean, 74, who have fostered 186 children and adopted two over 34 years.

Sonia Watson is given an OBE for services to diversity in architecture for her work as chief executive of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to help people who wish to embark on the planned career of the murdered teenager.

Headteacher Elisabeth Carney-Haworth and her husband David, a retired police officer, also receive OBEs for their work with children affected by domestic abuse through their charity, Operation Encompass.

Rachel Whiteread, the Turner Prize-winning artist famous for casting the interior of a house, is made a dame for her services to art.

Her 1993 sculpture was a life-sized concrete cast of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End, complete with imprints of fireplaces, windows and light switches, but after huge debate it was demolished.

Renowned scientist Professor Mark Caulfield, who helped deliver the pioneering 100,000 Genomes Project, receives a knighthood.

More than 100,000 complete genetic blueprints have been sequenced from NHS patients as part of the world-leading 100,000 Genomes Project, which launched in 2012.

The data is being used to bring new diagnoses to people with rare diseases and help choose cancer therapies.

Wayne Gruba, a campaigner for IRA victims of Libyan explosives, receives a British Empire Medal for services to victims of terrorism.

He co-founded the Docklands Victims Association (DVA) in London after the 1996 republican bombing which killed two people and injured many more.


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