New Year Honours: London list includes ex-gang member

Chris Preddie says he is over the moon that his work has been recognised

A former gang member related to a schoolboy's killers is among the London figures listed in the New Year Honours.

Chris Preddie, 24, is appointed OBE for his youth work, having abandoned drug-dealing and turned his life around after his brother was shot dead.

He said he "never knew" his cousins Danny and Ricky, who stabbed Damilola Taylor in Peckham, south London.

Former Lord Mayor Michael Bear is awarded a knighthood, as is Olympic Delivery Authority chair John Armitt.

A stonemason at St Paul's Cathedral, the founder of a puppet theatre company and a pharmacist are also honoured.

Mr Preddie said he "made a choice" to take his life in a different direction to that of his cousins, who were jailed for eight years in 2006.

He joined a Crimestoppers scheme aimed at cutting youth violence in south London after his brother Andrew "got shot four days after my 16th birthday", he said.

"I realised it could be my life," he added.

However, Damilola's father, Richard Taylor, said he did not think an honour should be given "to the cousin of the killers of my son".

'An amazing surprise'

Elsewhere on the list, a knighthood has been conferred upon Antonio Pappano, the music director at the Royal Opera House in central London.

Dr Andrew Burnett, the deputy director of the British Museum in Bloomsbury, and Anthony Burton, who chairs the Royal Court theatre in west London, are appointed CBEs.

And Lyndie Wright, who established the Little Angel Theatre for puppetry in Islington with her husband 50 years ago, becomes an MBE.

"I build puppets seven days a week, and perhaps it's 12 hours a day - it depends how much it's needed," Mrs Wright said.

"It's my life, and the people around me are the friends who actually join in and are part of it."

Det Ch Insp Caroline Goode, who led Scotland Yard's investigation into the 2006 "honour killing" of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod from Mitcham, south-west London, is to receive the Queen's Police Medal.

Among the other London figures on the list is Deborah Glass, a commissioner at the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who is appointed OBE, and the Labour MP for Lewisham and Deptford, Joan Ruddock, who becomes a CBE.

Michael Bear, the former Lord Mayor of the City of London A knighthood has been conferred upon Michael Bear, the former Lord Mayor of London

Alan Horsfield, a stonemason at St Paul's, is appointed MBE, as is Kiss 100's reggae DJ David Rodigan.

Lila Thakerar, a pharmacist who has been based in Harrow, north-west London, for 27 years, said it had been "an amazing surprise" to learn she was becoming an MBE.

And Dr Gabriel Ivbijaro, who has been appointed MBE after 16 years of service as a GP in Walthamstow, east London, said he was "absolutely dumbfounded" when told of his honour.

"It isn't what I expected in my wildest dreams," he added.

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