Gordon Brown and Ally McCoist among Scots recognised in King’s Birthday Honours

Brown becomes a Companion of Honour for public and charitable services in the UK and abroad.

Gordon Brown and Ally McCoist among Scots recognised in King’s Birthday Honours Getty Images

Former prime minister Gordon Brown, writer and satirist Armando Iannucci and ex-footballer Ally McCoist are among the Scots recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list.

Brown becomes a Companion of Honour for public and charitable services in the UK and abroad.

The honour recognises significant contributions to the arts, science, medicine or government over a long period of time and is limited to just 65 people at any one time.

Brown told the PA news agency: “I feel slightly embarrassed as the opportunity to serve is an honour in itself and my preference has always been to recognise all those brilliant, unsung, local heroes who quietly and selflessly give their time to contribute to the vitality of our communities.

“I want to thank those who put my name forward and thank too my family and all who have worked with me during the last 50 years in public life, to whom I owe everything.”

There is a knighthood for historian Professor Sir Niall Ferguson, who first came to the attention of many in the UK with the hit 2003 Channel 4 series Empire: How Britain Made The Modern World, and a best-selling book of the same name.

Ally McCoist SNS Group

The Glasgow-born academic, who has written 16 books, told PA: “When an individual is honoured by the King, implicitly his formative influences are the real recipients of the honour.

“Anything I have achieved is in truth the achievement of my grandparents; my parents, Molly and Campbell; my school, the Glasgow Academy; my college, Magdalen, Oxford; and all the family members, teachers, mentors and friends who encouraged and supported me.”

Golfer Stephen Gallacher becomes an MBE for services to golf while former Rangers and Scotland player and now pundit McCoist is made an OBE for services to association football and broadcasting.

Others recognised include Jasmin Paris, an ultra-marathon runner from Gorebridge, Midlothian, who becomes an MBE for services to fell running.

In March, she became the first woman ever to finish the Barkley Marathons 100-mile race, completing one of the most challenging ultra marathons in the world with 99 seconds to spare in the 60-hour cut-off.

Among others recognised is Robert Forman, a former chairman of the Scottish Conservatives who becomes a CBE for political service, and he described the honour as a “great privilege”.

From the arts world, The Thick Of It creator Iannucci becomes a CBE for services to film and television.

He said he was “delighted” about the award and takes it as a signal to keep defending public broadcasters from “attacks on independence and funding”.

Jane Spiers, chairwoman of the National Theatre of Scotland, is made an OBE for services to culture in Scotland.

In a career in the arts spanning more than 40 years, she has been a producer, programmer, festival director, event manager and cultural policy adviser.

She said: “I’m still pinching myself. I feel so fortunate to have spent a lifetime working in the arts and now to be given an honour for doing something I love.

“I couldn’t accept it without acknowledging all the people along the way, back and front of house, who’ve played a part in my life, encouraged me, believed in me, given me chances.”

A volunteer who helped restore the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer the PS Waverley has also been honoured.

Jane SpiersWebsite

John Beveridge, 71, has been made an MBE for services to paddle steamer preservation and charity.

He said: “The honour is for work I did on Maid of the Loch, which was a wreck and sinking in the 1990s. I helped save the Waverley back in 1974 when she was given to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society for £1.

“The Waverley is more than 70 years old, it’s a great advert for Scotland. It’s been 25 years I’ve been involved in Maid of the Loch and volunteers are still helping to restore it. The aim is that she will sail again on Loch Lomond, hopefully one of these days.”

A grandmother who spent years helping Holocaust survivors before retiring aged 81 has said she is “delighted” to be recognised.

Myrna Bernard, from East Renfrewshire, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the Jewish community and to the disabled in Scotland.

Describing her reaction to news of the award, she said: “It was a surprise, it was a shock, I’m very touched and just amazed and I’m delighted. It was very nice.”

A volunteer who gave up her job to help the humanitarian response to the invasion of Ukraine has also been recognised in the honours list.

Hannah Beaton-Hawryluk, 63, of South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, has been made a MBE for services to the Ukrainian community in Scotland.

Mrs Beaton-Hawryluk, whose Ukrainian father was forced to settle in Scotland following the Second World War, has raised £5.5m since the invasion began in 2022.

She said: “I’m just grateful I was able to give up my job. People who come here are so grateful for what they have been given – they arrived with nothing. My problems seem small in comparison.”

She added: “I hope it’s what my dad would have wanted.”

Also being made an MBE is Gerald Lobley, 79, from Kemnay in Aberdeenshire, who has spent 50 years teaching youngsters how to play chess, including teaching a Scottish champion.

Receiving the honour for services to chess in Scotland, he said he was “flabbergasted” to learn he has been honoured by the King.

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