Labour can restore honour to the honours system

With Keir Starmer’s public assertion that he will not issue a resignation honours list, should he become Prime Minister, Labour for a Republic is calling for an end to the resignation honours system, especially in light of recent manoeuvres by the disgraced ex-PM, Boris Johnson.

Read our press release below for more information:

Campaign group Labour for a Republic is calling on the future Labour government to re-set the UK’s honours system, freeing it from cronyism, the stigma of empire and royal patronage.

The call comes amidst public uproar over Boris Johnson’s honours list, which includes awards for people who broke lockdown laws, and follows Labour leader Keir Starmer’s decision not to have a resignation honours list should he become Prime Minister.

Labour for a Republic’s Nick Wall said:

“We welcome Keir’s announcement. The truth is that the honours system is not fit for purpose and is increasingly seen simply as an excuse for politicians to reward their mates, rather that the recognition of public service that it should be”.

“It’s also time for the honours system to be disassociated with ‘empire’ and its legacy of colonialism, exploitation and slavery. Labour can do this simply by replacing the word ‘empire’ with ‘excellence’”.

“Thousands of ordinary people, working in their communities and many others who excel in their particular field deserve recognition, but at the moment that is devalued by a system that is driven by cronyism and celebrity”.

“For us, Rishi Sunak’s resignation honours can’t come soon enough. It’s then time for Labour to make his the last-ever resignation honours and to relaunch a new system which is truly focused on the contribution of ordinary people, and removes the trappings of our colonial past that is so offensive to so many. It’s time for Labour to bring back honour to the honours system”.