New Year’s Honours: After a year of scandals just two MPs get gongs
JUST two MPs are honoured – the first full-time wheelchair user elected to the Commons and a long-serving former minister.
Published: Fri, December 31, 2010
Labour MP Anne Begg is created a dame for services to disabled people and equal opportunities.
Ms Begg, 55, was born with Gaucher’s disease, a rare genetic condition which causes broken bones. She has used a wheelchair since 1984.
Since becoming MP for Aberdeen South in 1997, she has chaired groups on equalities and on chronic pain, as well as a conference promoting the representation of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people.
The former teacher, who chairs the Commons’ Work and Select Committee, said: “I’m still trying to come to terms with what it means but I’m very honoured.” Veteran Conservative MP Peter Bottomley, 66, receives a knighthood for public service.
First elected in the Woolwich West by-election of 1975, he held the south- east London seat, later renamed Eltham, until 1997 when boundary changes saw him move to fight and win Worthing West in West Sussex.
His wife Virginia, who entered the House of Lords five years ago, served as health secretary in John Major’s government.
Sir Peter said: “This is a tribute to all the people I have worked with in voluntary and charitable organisations and I hope they take as much pleasure in it as I do.”