Lynn Faulds Wood, the former presenter of consumer affairs programme BBC Watchdog, has turned down an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours, saying the system has to be dragged “into the 21st Century”.
The Scottish television presenter said that she would be a “hypocrite” to accept the honour for her work on consumer safety.
The New year Honours list, which is due to be released late on Friday, celebrate those who have done outstanding work in the community, for the country, or in their field of expertise.
Ms Faulds Wood says that she objects to the word “empire” and that the honours system is “unfair”.
The broadcaster did say that she may be “deserving of an honour”, but couldn’t accept it due to her objections.
Ms Faulds Wood said: “I would love to have an honour if it didn’t have the word ’empire’ on the end of it. We don’t have an empire, in my opinion.
“I think honours are really important and should be given to people who have done really good stuff.
“And I’ve changed laws and I’ve helped saved a lot of people’s lives, so maybe I’m deserving of an honour, but I just wouldn’t accept it while we still have party donors donating huge amounts of money and getting an honour.”
The news comes a day after Professor Phil Scraton, a key figure in the Hillsborough campaign for justice, has turned down an OBE in New Year Honours list.
Prof Scraton, who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research team, has chosen not to receive the honour in protest “at those who remained unresponsive” to help those affected by the disaster which saw 96 people killed in 1989.
He said that his choice “might come as a disappointment to some Hillsborough families, survivors and whoever nominated me”.
He continued: “I could not accept an honour tied in name to the ‘British Empire'”.