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MP admits defeat as Downing Street dashes hopes of knighthood for ex-Beatle Harrison.

BEATLES' legend George Harrison will not be receiving a posthumous knighthood.

It had been expected the late guitarist would be recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June.

But while Harrison was able to achieve a posthumous number one single - with the re-released My Sweet Lord - it appears that a knighthood will be beyond him.

The news was confirmed in a letter from William Chapman, the secretary of appointments at 10 Downing Street, to West Derby MP Bob Wareing.

Mr Wareing has been campaigning for two of his constituents who were notified they were to receive honours but died before receiving them.

When reports broke of a possible posthumous knighthood for Harrison, Mr Wareing believed his constituents would also be entitled to their awards.

But the hopes of all concerned now seen dashed.

In his letter, Mr Chapman said: "The Prime Minister may not recommend posthumous awards to the Order of the British Empire. I can assure you that this rule has not changed and that there is no truth in newspaper reports that a knighthood is to be bestowed on the late George Harrison."

That opinion was reiterated by a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office yesterday.

"The rules state that posthumous honours are only awarded for acts of valour. There are absolutely no plans to change that and we have never indicated that there are, " she said.

Mr Wareing has been involved in the issue of posthumous awards for a number of years, having asked unsuccessfully for a knighthood for former Liverpool FC manager Bob Paisley.

The MP said: "We will try to keep the pressure on but unfortunately it does not look as if the rules are going to be changed in the near future.

"I have two constituents, Rose Sandford and Margaret Williamson, who died before receiving their honours. It is relatively rare for it to happen and I can't understand why someone due to receive an award in the foreseeable future should not get it.

"Obviously George Harrison also did a tremendous amount for pop music and for Liverpool itself."

News that Harrison was likely to miss out on his knighthood was greeted with dismay by local Beatles' fans.

John James Chambers, founder of the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society, said: "This is very disappointing news. We think he should have been given an award posthumously considering all he did for music and the city."

Ron Sanford, 88, will receive an MBE on February 20 for service to Merseyside pensioners.

His wife of 63 years, Rose, should also have been picking up an MBE, but sadly died last November. Mr Sandford said: "I can't understand it because these things aren't given out easily. Rose deserved her award more than me.

"The relatives who are left behind suffer enough without this."


LEGEND: George Harrison DISAPPOINTED: Bob Wareing
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2002
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