Reward for failure row as former chief prosecutor Alison Saunders is made a Dame in New Year’s honours list – as controversial ex-fire chief Dany Cotton is overlooked
- Dame Alison gave ‘unstinting public service’ to the Crown Prosecution Service
- Critics pointed to a series of scandals including the collapse of several rape trials
- Former fire chief Dany Cotton criticised over Grenfell overlooked in honours list
An honour for former chief prosecutor Alison Saunders sparked a ‘rewards for failure’ row last night.
She was made a Dame for services to criminal justice despite being branded ‘probably the worst DPP [director of public prosecutions] ever’.
In her honours citation, Dame Alison was described as having given ‘unstinting public service’ to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), where she worked for more than 30 years.
But critics pointed to a series of scandals on her watch, including the collapse of several rape trials over prosecutors’ failure to disclose evidence, and Operation Elveden, a ‘witch hunt’ against journalists that cost £20million.
Former chief prosecutor Alison Saunders sparked a ‘rewards for failure’ row last night
Other senior figures to be handed honours include John Manzoni, the chief executive of the civil service, and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, who receive knighthoods.
There are damehoods for Lib Dem peer Baroness Floella Benjamin for services to charity and Ofcom boss Sharon White.
Former chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies received an even higher honour, becoming Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.
Dame Alison was expected to receive her honour last year in the months after she left the CPS, raising speculation it had been blocked.
In her honours citation, Dame Alison was described as having given ‘unstinting public service’ to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), where she worked for more than 30 years
Last night backbench Tory MP Nigel Evans said he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the decision.
He said: ‘A lot of people have been wrongly accused when she was leading the charge. She created a lot of victims, who are still suffering from being wrongfully accused. This creates another injustice on top of the injustices.’
Barrister Jonathan Goldberg QC also criticised the honour. He said: ‘This will be viewed as a bad joke. She is seen by us as probably the worst DPP ever. She has presided over a terrible demoralisation within the CPS, disaster after disaster in the field of sex crimes and disclosure.’
Dany Cotton stood down early from the role this week
Snub for ex-fire chief criticised over Grenfell
The former commissioner of the London Fire Brigade has been overlooked in the New Year’s Honours list amid ongoing controversy over her handling of the Grenfell tragedy.
Dany Cotton stood down early from the role this week following criticism of the service’s decision to issue stay-put advice to residents at the tower block during the blaze.
Serving or outgoing chiefs of the service are normally handed awards – either while in the post or as they step down.
But sources said yesterday that nobody connected with the Grenfell tragedy would be singled out for an honour before the public inquiry into the disaster is concluded.