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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 00:20 GMT
Campbell heads political honours
Menzies Campbell
Menzies Campbell was an Olympic sprinter before his political career
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Menzies Campbell is celebrating a knighthood at the end of a "rollercoaster year".

Former sprinter Mr Campbell, who this year recovered from a form of cancer, is among the politicians included in the New Year's Honours List.

Labour MP Stuart Bell and Conservative MP John Butterfill are also being knighted for services to Parliament.

And ex-cabinet minister Lord Robertson, the outgoing Nato secretary-general, is appointed GCMG in the diplomatic list.


Mr Campbell took time off from Parliament after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last year.

But he has made a full recovery and was greeted by cheers from MPs as he spoke in April's Iraq debate in his first major public appearance since his diagnosis.

As his award was announced, Mr Campbell said: "This is an unexpectedly pleasant end to what has been a rollercoaster of a year for me and my family.

"I am deeply honoured to be recognised in this way for my services to Parliament."

Athletics star

Born and educated in Glasgow, Mr Campbell made a name for himself before politics as an athlete in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and in the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.

He was the UK athletics team captain in 1965 and 1966, and held the UK 100 metres record from 1967 to 1974.

A lawyer, he entered Parliament on his fourth attempt in 1987 as MP for North-East Fife.

Serving on the Lib Dem front bench for just short of a decade, Mr Campbell was once seen as a potential successor to Lib Dem chief Paddy Ashdown.

But he decided not to join the leadership race which saw Charles Kennedy take the Lib Dem helm.

Church role

Middlesbrough MP Mr Bell has been the Church of England commissioners' representative in the House of Commons, answering questions from his colleagues.

The son of a pitman, Mr Bell became a barrister and went into politics on Newcastle City Council.

He contested Hexham in 1979 before becoming MP for Middlesbrough in 1983.

During Labour's years in opposition he was a frontbench spokesmen on Northern Ireland and trade and industry, as well as serving as Roy Hattersley's parliamentary aide.

Nato chief

For Tory Mr Butterfill, MP for Bournemouth West, the knighthood also caps 20 years in Parliament.

A trained chartered surveyor, he was parliamentary aide in the 1980s and 1990s to then cabinet minister Cecil Parkinson and Northern Ireland Minister Brian Mawhinney.

Lord Robertson stands down this month as Nato secretary-general - the post he took up in 1999.

He has been appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George, largely reserved for top diplomats, at GCMG, which is the top of three grades.

He was previously defence secretary in Tony Blair's cabinet and served as an MP for 21 years.

Among others honoured from the world of politics are Godric Smith, one of the prime minister's official spokesmen, who also worked in the Downing Street press office when John Major was premier. He has been made a CBE.


Newspaper commentator Simon Jenkins is knighted and an OBE goes to Anne Sloman, who is stepping down as the BBC's chief political adviser.

The honours list has been unveiled after the recent announcement that the system will be reviewed to make it more transparent and independent and less elitist.

Downing Street declined to say whether or not the review would be finished in time for next year's honour's list.

It said the list was designed to reflect those who "work at the sharp end" and reflect the importance attached to health, education and other public services.

Almost half of the 981 honours in the list are the result of nominations from members of the public - with 20% of them from the fields of education and health.



Inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee Sir WWW
Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web, is knighted

Key awards
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