Queen’s composer and Angel of the North sculptor among Islington residents honoured in New Year’s list

The Angel of the North

The Angel of the North - Credit: EMPICS Sport

The Queen’s official composer, the creator of the famous Angel of the North statue and a woman who dedicates her life to equality are among those honoured in the New Year list.

Sir Peter Davies Pic: PA

Sir Peter Davies Pic: PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Master of the Queen’s Music Sir Peter Davies CBE and Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve, who both live in Islington, have been chosen to join the exclusive Order of the Companions of Honour while sculptor Antony Gormley OBE of Holloway receives a knighthood.

Self-made businessman Kevin McLoughlin – Islington’s answer to Lord Sugar – and Heather Mackinnon, a consultant at the Whittington Hospital who flagged up concerns about Baby P’s welfare months before his death, were both handed MBEs.


Meanwhile Colette Bowe, chairman of communications watchdog Ofcom who lives in Islington and is a parishioner of St John the Evangelist Church, in Duncan Terrace, has been made a DBE (Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to media and communications.

Another six borough residents were also honoured, two being made OBEs and four becoming MBEs.

Baroness O’Neill, the current chairman of the equality and human rights commission, receives her award for services to philosophy and public policy.

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The 72-year-old, who lives in Stonefield Street, said: “I’m very, very honoured to receive it and didn’t really believe it when they sent me the early warning.

“In my career, I’ve always been an inquisitive person and I’ve never shied away from trying something new.”

Baroness O’Neill, who is also a crossbench member of the House of Lords, described herself as a teacher and researcher who had spent her career in public service.

“I’ve taught for 50 years and my last PhD student finished two years ago.

“When one gets recognition in this life, there’s dozens of others who deserve it as well. In my view, everything is a team effort.”

Sir Peter Davies, who is honoured for services to music, has been the Master of the Queen’s Music for almost a decade.


His earliest composition date from his college days in the mid-1950s and his latest, Symphony No 10, is due to have its world premiere at the Barbican on February 2.

The only Islington resident to be knighted in the NewYear list is Antony Gormley OBE who is rewarded for his services to art.

The sculptor, aged 63, is most famous for his massive Angel of the North, which was erected in Gateshead in 1998 and has become a symbol of the North East.

Kevin McLoughlin, who is honoured for services to skills training in the painting and decorating trade, left school at 15 with no qualifications but now heads a multimillion-pound business, K&M McLoughlin.

In 2012 he set up a pioneering painting and decorating school in Brewery Road, Holloway, to help young people who are in the same position he once found himself in.

Dr Mackinnon, honoured for work in paediatrics, child health and child protection, was the consultant in charge of Baby P’s care at the Whittington Hospital.

She found his wounds were non-accidental and did not support returning him to his mother, but eight months later the 17-month-old died from multiple injuries.