LONDON, June 9 — Actress Emma Thompson and football legend Kenny Dalglish were yesterday named in Queen Elizabeth II’s honours list, but survivors and emergency responders to the Grenfell Tower disaster were notably absent as the first anniversary of the fire approaches.
Oscar-winner Thompson, famed for her roles in Harry Potter and The Remains of the Day, has been granted the title of Dame in the annual roll call of the great and the good of British society.
The 59-year-old — described in the official citation of the honours committee as one of the UK’s most versatile and celebrated actresses — is joined by actors Tom Hardy and Keira Knightley, who received the Order of the British Empire “for services to drama”.
Meanwhile, 67-year-old Dalglish, who won three European Cups as a Liverpool player and managed the club during the 1989 Hillsborough disaster when 96 fans were killed in a stadium crush, was awarded a knighthood. The Scot becomes Sir Kenny.
It is in recognition of “services to football, charity and the city of Liverpool” after his decades-long battle for justice for the victims of the tragedy, and for his work with his wife Marina’s charity which has raised more than £10 million (RM53.426 million) for breast cancer sufferers.
“I am hugely grateful,” Dalglish said.
“The enjoyment that I have derived from being involved in football for as long as I have is outstripped only by the sense that I’ve been hugely fortunate to have the right people around me at all times.”
Absence of Grenfell names
The government has been forced to defend its decision to leave those involved in the London tower block fire which claimed 71 lives on June 14 off the list.
As well as prominent figures in the arts and sciences, honours are frequently bestowed on members of the emergency services and campaigners.
In December, an editorial on The Independent website said the failure to note the “heroes” of Grenfell in the New Year’s honours list “beggars belief”.
A government spokeswoman insisted that those involved in the blaze, rescue efforts and its aftermath would be honoured “at the earliest opportunity”.
“We have consulted with community groups and the emergency services to agree the right approach to recognising those involved, considering inquests and investigations where appropriate,” she said.
“Our approach will be community driven, time appropriate and sensitive to the ongoing local recovery.”
An inquiry into the fire is currently underway, probing allegations that unsafe building materials fuelled the inferno, but is not expected to submit its findings until at least 2019.
Police also said on Thursday they were investigating London’s fire service over their order for residents to “stay put” during the inferno.
The honours list is the third not to name key Grenfell Tower figures, although the monarch’s 2017 birthday list was announced just two days after the fire.
However, former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley, who led the response to the wave of deadly terror attacks which swept Britain last year, was honoured in the 2018 list with a knighthood “for services to policing”.
Queen Elizabeth — who turned 92 in April but celebrates the occasion today — honoured remarkable women on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, making them 49 per cent of the honourees.
War correspondent Kate Adie, Sister Imelda Poole, president of European anti-trafficking network Renate, and former World War II nurse Rosemary Powell, who at 103 is the oldest on the list, are among the women to be honoured.
Twenty-year-old alpine skier Menna Fitzpatrick, Britain’s most successful winter Paralympian, is the youngest on this year’s list. — AFP