Updated: Saturday, 26th May 2018 @ 7:36am

Piccadilly Pulse: Was it the government's place to step in and strip Fred Goodwin of his knighthood?

Piccadilly Pulse: Was it the government's place to step in and strip Fred Goodwin of his knighthood?

By Katie Rowley

With the Queen’s blessing, former RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin has been stripped of his knighthood.

The decision was seen as justice for Goodwin’s responsibility in leading the bank towards huge losses, which helped trigger the economic crisis. The bank required a £45 billion pay-out using taxpayer’s money.

The Queen yesterday annulled Goodwin’s knighthood on the recommendation of the Honours Forfeiture Committee, a decision which was welcomed by both David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

However, Mr. Goodwin is not the only high profile public figure involved in recent legal issues. Lord Taylor of Warwick was jailed for 12 months over the expenses scandal and Lord Jeffrey Archer served half of a four year jail sentence for perjury.

‘Fred the Shred’ is proving to be a particularly volatile dispute, as many argue it is not a business decision but an honours system decision. Goodwin has not been convicted of a criminal offence and so where does the government’s responsibility lie when dealing with such contentious issues?

Mancunian Matters hit the streets to ask:

Was it the government’s place to step in and strip Fred Goodwin of his knighthood?

Option Results
Yes 47%
No 40%
I don't know who he is 13%


Vina, lawyer, 30, city centre: “It seems like an unnecessary humiliation. Guilt and shame aren’t constructive for the economic situation.”

Rod Searle, 61, consultant, city centre: “Yes on the whole. There should be a system introduced whereby bankers’ bonuses are taxed.”

David Snell, 68, retired, city centre: “The government didn’t strip him of his knighthood, the committee did; the [Honours Forfeiture] committee acted under their pre-existing regulations so acted within the rules. If anything, Lord Archer deserved to lose his too.”

Simon Peters, 21, student, Fallowfield: “Yes I think he deserved it.”

Charlotte, 29, nurse, Didsbury: “I don’t really know the background context, so can’t make too much of an informed decision.”

Ian Kay, 53, clerk, Harpurhey: “Yes, I think it was very much the right decision.”

Russell Clark, curator, 50, city centre: “No it’s not the government’s responsibility.”

Susan Hey, 60, exam invigilator, city centre: “He’s not the only one who should lose his title.”

Ruth Jost, 40, property manager, city centre: “No I don’t think he should have lost his knighthood. I thought titles were only stripped for criminal convictions.”