A Labour leadership candidate has called out for removing references to the British empire in the honours system, and insisted on the recognition of “British excellence” instead. On 1st February, Saturday at a hustings in Bristol Lisa Nandy asserted that the honours system should be a tool to bring people together as opposed to shutting them out. The MP for Wigan said,
“It was Benjamin Zephaniah who balked at the prospect of accepting an OBE – the Order of the British Empire. Why not a choice to provide the Order of British Excellence? Why does the honours system, which should recognise the contribution of our people, shut people out, rather than bring people in?”
In her appeal to Labour’s left-wing membership, Nandy also discussed about focussing on “removing Tory MPs” as opposed to Labour’s internal power struggles.
These pledges were followed by her claims in Cardiff where she stated that if elected leader of the Labour Party, she would not stand in the way if a future Welsh Parliament wanted an independence referendum. In a statement to the BBC Wales, she said,
"I think if we are honest, we are going to have to go out and fight for devolution in many parts of the country that have been turning away from Labour for some time.
"In my own constituency in Wigan, people feel that the city mayoral deal where Labour is in power hasn't delivered for them, in the same way it has delivered for Manchester.
"I think the Welsh Labour government understands this really well, and in the conversations I've had with Mark Drakeford and many AMs, this is exactly what we're trying to do.”