Muslim teenager features on UK's New Year Honours list after raising thousands for charity

Muslim teenager features on UK's New Year Honours list after raising thousands for charity
Muslim teenager Ibrahim Yousaf was the youngest person to feature on Britain's traditional New Years Honours list.
3 min read
28 December, 2019
Ibrahim Yousaf has raised thousands of pounds for charity [Twitter]

Britain's traditional New Years Honours has recognised 13-year-old Ibrahim Yousaf for his charity work in Manchester.

Queen Elizabeth II's annual list unveiled late on Friday commended the Muslim schoolboy, who was the youngest person on the list, for raising thousands of pounds for his community in Oldham.

Yousaf will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work.

"I want to thank the people of Oldham who are supporting me, especially the #oldhamhour community who are supporting me so outstandingly," he said in a Twitter statement.

"This recognition is solely down to everyone's incredible support in helping me in my campaign."

Yousaf raised more than £1,000 pounds for cancer support centre Maggie's over eight months, Metro reported. The teenager has raised £2,000 for other causes.

His giving streak began when he turned 12 and donated his birthday money to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital charity - where he is himself a patient. 

Yousaf won the British Citizen Youth Award for his charitable work earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the New Years Honours faced criticism on Saturday after they included two prominent but controversial figures from politics and the legal profession.

The Queen's list gave a damehood to Alison Saunders, a former director of public prosecutions who was forced to quit the role last year following several scandals.

They included overseeing the collapse of dozens of rape trials due to evidence disclosure problems, and accusations of mishandling other sex crime cases.

Criminal lawyer Daniel Janner led the backlash, arguing it was "an appalling honour which brings the honours system into disrepute".

But Alison defended her award, telling The Times newspaper that it recognised her "30 years of public service".

The honours list also saw ex-Conservative Party leader Ian Duncan Smith knighted, despite being behind welfare reforms heavily criticised as unduly harsh on benefit claimants.

Opposition Labour lawmaker Lisa Nandy branded the recognition "disgraceful" and said it appeared "to reward a legacy of cruelty and failure".

The queen's New Year Honours recognise the achievements and contributions of a range of people across Britain, including a minority from the worlds of showbiz, sport and politics. 

An honours committee - comprising senior civil servants and people independent of government - recommend who to award, after sifting through nominations vetted by various government departments.

The prime minister then signs off on the choices, before the queen awards the honour at ceremonies during the year.

Overall, 1,097 names were on the list for 2020, nearly two-thirds of whom have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community.

Among the household names recognised this year were British-born Australian entertainer Olivia Newton-John, who found worldwide fame in the hit movie "Grease", and Oscar-winning Hollywood directors Sam Mendes and Steve McQueen.

English cricketing heroes Joe Root and Ben Stokes also received awards following the country's first Cricket World Cup victory last summer.

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