Jailed Harris stripped of British honour

Jailed pedophile Rolf Harris has been stripped of his British honour by the Queen, putting him on a dishonour roll alongside the likes of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.


Harris had his CBE annulled on Tuesday, one week after being told to hand back his Australian honours.

“The Queen has directed that the appointment of Rolf Harris to be a Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 17 June 2006, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order,” an announcement in the Crown’s official publication, the London Gazette said.

The 84-year-old was sentenced to five years and nine months’ jail in mid-2014 for indecently assaulting four girls in Britain between 1968 and 1986.

However, he’s expected to serve less than three years behind bars.

The Queen appointed Harris a Commander of the Order of the British Empire – one step below a knighthood – a year after the entertainer painted her portrait to mark her 80th birthday.

The one-time royal favourite had previously been made a Member of the Order (MBE) in 1968 and then an Officer (OBE) in 1977.

He wasn’t stripped of those awards as they had been superseded by the higher honour.

The process of cancelling a British award occurs when an honours and appointments secretariat puts forward a case to the forfeiture committee, whose decision then goes through the prime minister to the Queen for approval.

Cases normally arise when a holder “has brought the honours system into disrepute” – most often by being convicted of a crime and jailed.

Harris was stripped of his Order of Australia honours a week ago, leading British Labour MP Simon Danczuk to publicly decry that Australia had acted more quickly against Harris than they had.

“I am delighted. Public opinion would have been outraged if no action was taken and the system was brought into disrepute,” Danczuk said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister David Cameron backed the move to cancel Harris’s honour.

In 2008, Mugabe was stripped of his honorary knighthood, awarded in 1994, for “abuse of human rights” and “abject disregard” for democracy.

He was the first foreigner to be stripped of an honorary knighthood since Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989 – the day before his execution by firing squad.

Harris previously lost his place in the ARIA Hall of Fame and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) fellowship.

His image has been erased from public artworks and commemorative plaques removed from city streets.

In sentencing Harris in July 2014, Justice Nigel Sweeney said the former entertainer had shown no remorse for his crimes.

“Your reputation lies in ruins … and you have no-one to blame but yourself,” the judge said.

A month ago Harris was interviewed over two days by Operation Yewtree officers regarding fresh allegations of sexual assaults.