Pressure building over gong for golden girl Jess

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.
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POLITICIANS are to call for an overhaul of the British honours system, after fears a quota systems could block Olympic medallists including Jessica Ennis from receiving a gong.

The honours system is unfair, lacks transparency and discriminates in favour of ‘coasting’ civil servants, a panel of MPs will warn this week.

A report by the House of Commons public administration committee will say awards should only be handed to people who go ‘really deliver gold for our country’.

It will criticise the quota system that allows up to four civil servants, but just one sportsman, to be knighted each year.

Jess, who grew up and trains in Sheffield, already has the MBE - but pressure is mounting for her to follow in the footsteps of fellow Olympic gold medallist Kelly Homes and receive a damehood.

The current quota limits honours for sports stars to four CBEs, 20 OBEs and 38 MBEs each year. But the civil service can get four knighthoods, 22 CBEs, 68 OBEs and 134 MBEs.

“The current system has become an utter joke in poor taste,” a committee source said. “Honours should only be given to people who go above and beyond the call of duty - who really deliver gold for our country.”