Heroic pensioner Bernard Kenny, who was stabbed when he intervened in the attack on Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox, has been awarded the George Medal.
It is the highest possible civilian honour and has been awarded to the have-a-go hero exactly one year on from Mrs Cox’s tragic death.
Former miner Mr Kenny, 78, was seriously injured as Mrs Cox was shot and stabbed by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair in Birstall
Sandra Major, formerly Mrs Cox’s senior caseworker and who was with her when she was attacked, receives the MBE for parliamentary services and service to the community in Batley and Spen.
There were numerous calls after the tragedy for Mr Kenny to be honoured by the nation.
At Mair’s trial at the Old Bailey, the jury heard that Mr Kenny was waiting for his wife outside the library in Birstall when he saw Mair going “berserk.”
He said in a statement to police: “I thought if I could jump on to the back I could take him down.
“I thought he was thumping her until I saw the blood. I saw he had a knife in his hands.
“Just as I got short of him, he turned around and saw me. He shoved the knife in and it hit me in the stomach. The blood started pouring out between my fingers. I saw the blood and I thought, ‘Oh my God.’”
After the attack more than 80,000 people signed an online petition calling for Mr Kenny to be awarded the George Cross for his bravery.
A letter posted on the petition site said: “We the undersigned wish that Bernard Kenny’s act of supreme bravery should be recognised by the highest honour the UK Government can bestow. At this time when the country is dominated by fear and hate, we think that a man motivated only by selfless courage and love should be honoured in this way, and quickly.”
It continued: “Please would you act straight away to award Bernard Kenny the George Cross for his incredible bravery in trying to save the life of Jo Cox MP and show our country that love wins over hate.”
Mr Kenny is a former member of the Gomersal Mines Rescue Team who tried to save victims of the Lofthouse mine disaster in 1973.
After the attack, he was also made the guest of honour at a rugby match between Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams, where he laid a sunflower on the pitch in memory of Mrs Cox.