NORTH West Hampshire MP Sir George Young has been made a Companion of Honour by The Queen for his contribution to politics.

The honour was conferred at the request of the Prime Minister.

Sir George, who is Government Chief Whip, was among 91 people who went to Buckingham Palace to receive various honours. Among them were actor Kate Winslet and pop singer Gary Barlow. At the Palace, Sir George was accompanied by his wife Aurelia and two daughters Camilla and Sophia.

The Order of the Companions of Honour was founded by King George V in 1917 as an award for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion. The numbers are capped at 65 and recipients are entitled to place the letters CH after their names.

Sir George joins current members Dame Judy Dench, Sir John Major, Lord Hurd and Lord Patten. He said: “It was a great honour to be at the investiture ceremony at the Palace and to be made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty, who took the ceremony itself.”

Sir George was first elected to Parliament in 1974 and his first frontbench position was in 1975. He held various ministerial posts under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major. He was Secretary of State for Transport from 1995 to 1997, and in 2010 was made Leader of the House of Commons.

A spell on the backbenches lasted only a few weeks until October this year when Sir George was appointed Government Chief Whip after the resignation of Andrew Mitchell MP. He has been the MP for North West Hampshire since 1997.