How OBE can be revoked

By Keren David, June 18, 2009

The complaint to the Cabinet Office by JNF KKL Scotland over the award of an OBE to Simon Winters in the Queen’s Birthday Honours could set in train a long and complex process.

According to a written Parliamentary answer by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last year: “Cancellation is considered in cases where retention of the appointment or award would bring the honours system into disrepute. There are no set guidelines.”

Cases are considered by the Forfeit-ure Committee, a group of senior civil servants chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. Its recommendations go to the Prime Minister and then to the Queen. Only she can retract an honour.

The highest profile case in the Jewish community was in 1991, a year after Jack Lyons was convicted of fraud and false accounting in the Guinness trial.

He was stripped of his knighthood and CBE, although then Prime Minister John Major told him that his “good works will always be remembered”.
Other cases have involved disgraced sporting stars such as jockey Lester Piggott (tax fraud) and darts champion Phil Taylor, who was convicted of assaulting two women.

Last updated: 11:03am, June 18 2009