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Blair may honour LN Mittal

The PM is reported to be debating whether UK's richest man with wealth worth about #15 bn, should be included in his resignation honours list.
None | By Press Trust of India, London
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2007 12:05 PM IST

NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal may be granted an honour by British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his contribution to the steel industry, a report said on Monday.

According to Daily Mail, the prime minister is reported to be debating whether Mittal, Britain's richest man with wealth worth about £15 billion, should be included in his resignation honours list.

Blair has the power to award a knighthood or even a peerage to the billionaire businessman, even though he has an Indian passport. He would be entitled to take a seat in the Lords as a Commonwealth citizen.

However, opposition MPs warned that the public would be dismayed if the Prime Minister honoured Mittal. The steel tycoon last week made a two million pounds donation to the Labour party and has now handed over a staggering four million pounds to Labour fundraisers.

According to the report, Blair is in the process of drawing up the list, which will be vetted by the House of Lords appointments watchdog following the controversy over loans.

Last week, Mittal described himself as a "long-term supporter of the Labour Party and the work it has done in the United Kingdom to improve the overall prosperity and prospects of the country since coming to power in 1997." Blair has returned the compliment describing the tycoon as "one of the world's most successful businessman." Only Lord Sainsbury, the former Science Minister, has donated more to Labour Party coffers over the past decade.

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