FP-LONDON-Ex-Spice Girl turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham and Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance were among the public figures to receive Britain’s traditional New Year Honours on Friday but two recipients turned theirs down.

Beckham, who rose to fame in the 1990s girl band the Spice Girls and is married to former England footballer David Beckham, launched her first fashion label in 2006.

She will receive her Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) award 13 years after her husband and at a time when her label is threatened with closure afer failing to file accounts.

Beckham was also criticised in British tabloid newspapers for telling her family she would be receiving an OBE before the announcement, with MP Peter Bone telling the Daily Mail it was “a betrayal of etiquette”.

Rylance starred in 2015’s “Bridge of Spies” alongside Tom Hanks - a tale about a famous Soviet secret agent who posed as an artist in post-war New York but was instead helping smuggle out US nuclear secrets.

Veteran war photographer Don McCullin, who was imprisoned in Uganda, shot in Cambodia and expelled from Vietnam, also received a knighthood in the annual announcement of state honours. The 81-year-old, who took a famous picture of a shell-shocked US Marine during the Vietnam War, travelled to Iraq last month but has since said that he is “finished” with covering wars.

Ray Davies, the frontman of the 1960s British rock band The Kinks who came up with classics such as “You Really Got Me”, “Waterloo Sunset” and “Sunny Afternoon”, also received a knighthood.

But Phil Scraton, who campaigned for an investigation into the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster, said he had refused his in protest at those who failed to help survivors and families of the 96 victims.

“I could not receive an honour on the recommendation of those who remained unresponsive to the determined efforts of bereaved families and survivors to secure truth and justice,” Scraton told the BBC.

The former bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, however accepted his honour for helping bereaved Hillsborough families in the wake of the football disaster and said it would be a “salute” to them.

Television presenter and cancer campaigner Lynn Faulds Wood also turned down her Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award, saying: “Let’s drag us into the 21st century.”

“I would love to have an honour if it didn’t have the word ‘empire’ on the end of it. We don’t have an empire,” she said.

“We’re a very backward-looking country at the moment. We shouldn’t have lords and ladies and sirs.”