Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tory Hands Back His CBE in Disgust at Cameron's 'Dishonour List' EXCLUSIVE 'Cameron's Contempt for Honours System Has Led to Such Disenchantment'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tory Hands Back His CBE in Disgust at Cameron's 'Dishonour List' EXCLUSIVE 'Cameron's Contempt for Honours System Has Led to Such Disenchantment'

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

A SENIOR Conservative is handing back his CBE in disgust at David Cameron's "Dishonour List" of gongs for cronies and donors, the Standard can reveal.

Major Narindar Saroop said Mr Cameron's controversial resignation list had brought the entire system into "disrepute" by showering peerages, knighthoods and other awards on close chums and party backers.

"Everyone I have spoken to who also has a decoration feels much the same way," said the former cavalry officer who made history as the first Asian to stand for Parliament wearing Tory colours in 1979 at Greenwich.

"They may not take the same action I am taking but there is a great deal of disenchantment about the way that the former Prime Minister has behaved."

Major Saroop was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1982 on the recommendation of Margaret Thatcher. But on August 4, the day Mr Cameron's list of awards was Continued on Page 2 Continued from Page 1 published, he wrote to the Cabinet Office asking for the correct procedure to return the cherished award in protest. In a letter to the honours section at St James's Palace explaining his decision, Major Saroop said: "There is little wrong with our honours system. It is the demeaning contempt for it as practised by [Tony] Blair and Cameron which has led to such disenchantment about an otherwise honourable institution.

"Mr Cameron, often with some pride, indicated that he was the heir to Blair. This is now fully vindicated by his recent 'Dishonour List', which runs close, possibly even overtaking, the lists of Lloyd George and of Harold Wilson's Lavender List."

Major Saroop, 87, retired from the Army in 1952. He is a member of the Beefsteak Club, the Cavalry and Guards Club and the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. Speaking to the Evening Standard, he admitted: "It is a futile cavalry charge but I felt I had to make a point. It's obviously a wrench to return my CBE. I was extremely proud to be awarded it.

"It was the year of the Falklands and I found myself queuing at Buckingham Palace with Gurkhas, soldiers and others who had given honourable service to this country in the Falklands. It was a great honour for me to be in the same queue as those people.

"Cameron's list, in my view, included a lot of people who were undeserving of what they were given. Prime Ministers like Harold Wilson and James Callaghan gave honours to their advisers, but many were very hard-working individuals. But in Cameron's list, some of the names were only there a couple of years."

After a distinguished career in the military and in international business, Major Saroop served as a councillor in Kensington & Chelsea and as an adviser to charities including Oxfam and Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund. …

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