The actress Maureen Beattie, former Labour minister Brian Wilson, golfer Catriona Matthew and former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan are among those recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Mr Wilson, who is also a non-executive director of Celtic FC, and who was the founding editor of the West Highland Free Press, served in several ministerial roles in Tony Blair’s Cabinet between 1997 and 2005.

However he receives his CBE for the part he has played in the resurgence of Harris Tweed, and said he had debated whether to accept the honour on that basis.

He is chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides – and said he would not have accepted the honour if it had been for his service as a politician, but had decided to do so as chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, which he set up in 2008,

“when the industry was at a low ebb”.

He added: “I think it’s generally accepted we have led the revival of an industry that’s in a pretty perilous condition.”

Elected to the Cunninghame North seat in 1987, Mr Wilson served in a variety of roles under Mr Blair, between Labour’s landslide victory in 1997 and his retirement from frontline politics

in 2005.

But he said he had turned down a seat in the Lords when he was involved in politics and had been surprised to be named in the Honours List. “I neither sought nor expected anything,” he said. “I spoke to a couple of people and

asked them if I should take it and the unanimous view was that I should.

I think this is more of a recognition of everyone who has been involved in the Harris Tweed revival.

Solheim Cup-winning captain Catriona Matthew has been made an OBE after she led Team Europe to victory over the United States at Gleneagles in September. Her captaincy was much praised after the cup was won in dramatic style, with Suzanne Pettersen holing a crucial put in the final seconds. The 50-year-old’s OBE for services to

golf comes 10 years after she was made an MBE.

Another sportswoman honoured was women’s football pioneer Rose Reilly, who was made MBE.

The sportswomen were honoured alongside former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan, who becomes a CBE for services to the financial sector.

The New Zealander announced in April that he was stepping down from

the role – which he took on in 2013, but continued to steer the company until

he was appointed chief executive of National Australia Bank in July.

When he took the helm at RBS, the bank was more than 80 per cent owned by the Government, but the taxpayer’s stake has since reduced to 62.4%. One of his challenges was to prepare the bank to be returned to private hands – a task still not complete, but with progress being made after RBS posted profits for the second consecutive year in February.

Scots actress Maureen Beattie, the daughter of actor and comedian Johnny Beattie, is recognised with an OBE for services to the entertainment industry, having become the second female president of the Equity trade union last year.

A much-respected stage actress, she has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Scotland, but is also known for television appearances in programmes ranging from Casualty, The Bill and Taggart to Vera, Doctor Who and Outlander.

Beattie, who is soon to star with David Tennant in TV drama Deadwater Fell, said she was “delighted” to be recognised in the New Year Honours and added:

“I am particularly pleased the citation reads ‘actress and president, Equity’, because any difference I have made to the working lives of our members is inextricably bound up in the 45 years I have spent as a worker in our industry.”

She said she would continue to speak out over sexual harassment and called for support for the BBC after it faced claims of bias from both sides over its coverage of the General Election campaign.

“I am ... concerned for the future of the BBC as enemies of every political hue circle it,” she said: “At its best, the BBC allows us to understand each other through world-class news, documentary and drama. We must stand ready to defend it.”

Vivien Currie, chief executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse, has been made an MBE in recognition of her record in sport and business and extensive charity work in Hamilton. She is currently overseeing the completion of a £10 million on-site hotel at the venue, while under her leadership the team at Hamilton Park has raised more than £35,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care over the last four years.

Ms Currie said: “To be honoured for doing something I enjoy so much makes me one of the luckiest people ever.”

She said horse racing was a wonderful sport to work in. “Every day is different and I have been so fortunate to work alongside so many great people from so many different organisations,” she added.

Elswhere in the UK, internationally known names from the worlds of showbiz, sport and politics have been recognised alongside figures from the arts, sciences and charity.

British-born singer Olivia Newton-John is made a dame for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment, while critically acclaimed director Sam Mendes gets a knighthood for his contribution to drama.

Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of the controversial Universal Credit system, has been knighted alongside colleague Bob Neill.

Grease star Newton-John, who moved to Australia with her family as

a five-year-old, said: “I am extremely excited, honoured and grateful beyond words. I am very proud of my British ancestry and so appreciative to be recognised in this way by the UK.”

Culinary household names Ainsley Harriott and Nadiya Hussain – who rose to fame by winning the 2015 series of The Great British Bake Off – receive MBEs, while chef and author Nigel Slater

gets an OBE for services to cookery and literature. Wine writer and broadcaster Robert “Oz” Clarke receives an OBE for services to journalism, while Radio 1’s longest-serving presenter Annie Nightingale is made a CBE for services to radio. She had previously received an MBE.

Holocaust survivors Mindu Hornick and John Hajdu each get an MBE for services to education and commemoration of the mass killings by the Nazis, in a list in which 31 people are honoured for Holocaust education.