He spread the word that he had received a Member of the British Empire for services to the energy industry and he went as far as to superimpose a photograph of himself receiving his medal. The announcement and the picture were even published in a trade magazine and the local press.
Eventually, Mr Stuart’s deceit was uncovered and he admitted it was a joke that got out of hand and was now completely embarrassing. Embarrassing it certain is and with the media and social media unforgiving, he has done no end of damage to his reputation.
The whole episode is simply foolish and Mr Stuart has likely ended his chances of ever receiving an Honour. He would have to do something very special indeed in terms of business achievements and work for the community. Donating funds is never enough; you have to be hands on and get involved in helping the local community. If Mr Stuart goes on to achieve remarkable things; it is likely the Honours Committee would, in time, overlook his misdemeanor.
If you are thinking of applying for a UK Honours award, you really need to have a squeaky clean reputation. You need to think about your online presence – what do searches throw up about you? You might want to think about creating a new personal website to showcase your achievements and talents.
The Cabinet Office conducts checks on all those on the short list for Honours awards with various government departments to make sure they are one hundred percent suitable for an Honours Award. This will include a check with HMRC to make sure you are not bankrupt, and taxes are up to date. It is said that David Beckham OBE missed out on a Knighthood in 2014 because he took part in a lawful form of tax avoidance. Then there are checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service to make sure you don’t have a criminal record.
Having a criminal record isn’t necessarily a showstopper. It has been known for people with criminal records who have turned their lives around to receive an Honour. You needn’t worry about misadventures when you were young such as getting stopped by the police for underage drinking – these sorts of misdemeanors won’t be held again you.