Lord Field, the former Labour MP, has described the “terrific privilege” of being given one of the country’s highest honours after a lifetime of service.
The crossbench peer, who disclosed in October that he is terminally ill, has been made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, joining the likes of Sir Elton John, JK Rowling and Sir Paul McCartney on the list, which is limited to 65 people.
Lord Field, who as Frank Field spent more than 40 years as an MP, said: “I’m very honoured to receive this acknowledgement, it’s a terrific privilege considering the honour itself and what it represents.
“Following the work I’ve done it’s a lovely thought from which to conclude this year.”
His campaigning work has included efforts to stamp out modern slavery, which he said was “only the start, sadly”, as well as work on pensions reform and child poverty.
The 79-year-old was elected 10 times to represent Birkenhead between 1979 and 2019. He served as welfare reform minister in Tony Blair’s first government in 1997 with a remit to “think the unthinkable” and went on to chair the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Controversial inclusions on Honours list
Controversial inclusions on the list include the Conservative MP for North Herefordshire Bill Wiggin, who is knighted despite being ordered to repay more than £4,000 in expenses after his parliamentary claims were investigated by the Telegraph in 2009.
He also claimed £11,000 mortgage payments on a property that had no mortgage, though he was cleared of wrongdoing over the mortgage payments, which were put down to a “muddle”.
The Tory MP Robert Goodwill, who has served as a junior minister in six different departments during his 16 years in Parliament, is also knighted. He was ordered to repay £4,963 after the expenses scandal following a review of capital gains made by MPs from taxpayer-funded second homes.
Former Labour MP John Battle, a trade minister under Tony Blair, receives a knighthood to add to the Papal knighthood bestowed on him by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
A knighthood also goes to financier David Harding, who has donated £1.2 million to the Conservative Party.
Sylvia Heal, the former Labour MP and former deputy speaker of the Commons, is made a dame.
A damehood also goes to Sara Khan, who headed up the Home Office’s Commission for Countering Extremism under Theresa May.
In a separate list of political honours released on Friday, Robert Buckland, the former justice secretary, was given a knighthood, and Caroline Dinenage, the former culture minister, becomes a dame.