Scotland

Brian Souter knighted in Queen's birthday honours

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Media captionBrian Souter's thoughts on receiving a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours list

Transport tycoon Brian Souter has been given a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

The founder of Perth-based Stagecoach is being recognised for his services to transport and the voluntary sector.

Former Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini is being made a dame and Scotland's top doctor, chief medical officer Dr Harry Burns, is being knighted.

Two Scottish-based authors, Julia Donaldson and Kate Atkinson, are also being honoured.

Brian Souter, 57, founded the Stagecoach group with his sister Ann Gloag in 1980. The firm is now one of the world's biggest transport companies.

In 1992 he, and his wife, also set up the Souter Charitable Trust.

The long time supporter of the SNP said his knighthood would not have been achieved without the support of those who work alongside him.

He told BBC Scotland: "It hasn't really sunk in yet but I am absolutely delighted, particularly for the team at Stagecoach.

"I started as a bus conductor when I was 18 and this was never really on my list of ambitions, if I am being honest, but it is good to be recognised.

"I was really pleased that it mentions the voluntary sector because that recognises the work of my wife who runs the Souter Charitable Trust. They really don't seek any publicity but they do some really, really good work."

Image caption Brian Souter established the Stagegroup group in 1980

He added: "Sir Brian doesn't really sound right to me yet but maybe I will get used to it."

In 2000 Mr Souter was the leader of the Keep the Clause campaign, fighting the lifting of Section 28 which banned teachers and pupils from discussing homosexuality in schools.

He is also a major financial backer of the SNP.

Elish Angiolini, 50, stepped down as Lord Advocate earlier this year. She was the first woman and first solicitor to hold the post, appointed to it in 2006.

Commenting on her damehood, she said: "This is an enormous honour and one which I could never have received without the love and support of my family, my friends and the wonderful people I have worked with over the last 28 years."

A central theme of her time in office was the reform of rape law in Scotland.

She championed the new Sexual Offences Act and also set up the National Sex Crimes Unit to investigate and prosecute Scotland's most serious sex offences.

Image caption Elish Angiolini, who becomes a dame, was the first woman to be Lord Advocate in Scotland

Aberdeen-born racehorse trainer Henry Cecil is also being knighted.

Dr Burns, the chief medical officer for Scotland, said he and his family were delighted with his knighthood.

He added: "It is a huge honour to be chief medical officer for Scotland, I never thought I would receive any other kind of honour."

Professor Sally Macintyre, director of the Social and Public Health Science Unit at Glasgow University is being made a dame for her services to sciences.

She said: "I'm absolutely delighted. It recognises a long body of research work and contribution to research but very much based on teamwork."

Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson, who was named Children's Laureate earlier this week, receives an MBE for services to literature.

She said the honour would not "change anything but it is very nice to be recognised".

An MBE was also awarded to Edinburgh-based writer Kate Atkinson, who penned bestsellers such as Behind The Scenes At The Museum and Case Histories, which has just been televised on BBC One.

Aberdeen-born actor and writer Graeme Garden, who was in The Goodies, receives an OBE for services to light entertainment.

The chief executive of Victim Support Scotland, David McKenna, from Glasgow, receives an OBE for services to disadvantaged people.

He said: "It is a great pleasure to have received this honour which recognises the successful work of Victim Support Scotland and its staff on behalf of victims and witnesses of crime over the last 26 years."

A host of other public service workers, professionals, volunteers and those working in the arts are also recognised in the honours list.

'Source of pride'

Among other people honoured are Dr John Robert Brown, chairman of the Roslin Foundation in Midlothian, who is awarded an CBE for services to sciences and Professor Mona Siddiqui, director of the Centre for the Study of Islam at the University of Glasgow, who receives an OBE for services to inter-faith relations.

The deputy chief constable of Grampian Police, John McNab, receives the Queen's Police Medal and Alasdair Hay, of Tayside and Fire Rescue receives the Queen's Fire Service Medal.

First Minister Alex Salmond congratulated those honoured in the birthday list.

He said: "A great number of Scots have been honoured for services to our communities in areas such as medicine, the voluntary sector, business, justice, human rights and helping the most vulnerable people in our society.

"The remarkable abilities and breadth of the achievements of all of our successful nominees should be a source of pride and celebration for everyone in Scotland."