Former Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis will be knighted in the Queen’s new year’s honours, while supermarket chiefs and workers are among those recognised for efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lewis led the grocer’s initial response of the coronavirus crisis including the grocer doubling its number of online delivery slots to respond to the surge in demand.

He is among a clutch of grocery employees and executives to be honoured for the sector’s efforts to step up and feed the nation during the pandemic.

The Co-op’s grocery chief executive Jo Whitfield will be honoured with a CBE and Ocado Retail chief executive Melanie Smith will receive a CBE for her services to retail and the food supply chain during the crisis.

Nine Asda colleagues have been recognised with senior manager for compliance in health, safety and environment Paul Miller and online grocery development manager Daniel Owens both receiving MBEs.

A further seven employees across the grocery chain will receive a British Empire Medal, while five employees at fellow grocer Morrisons will receive the same recognition. 

UKHospitality chief Kate Nicholls will receive an OBE for her efforts representing the troubled hospitality and leisure sector, while Hays Travel boss Irene Hays will be made a dame.

The honours list is dominated by the national effort to fight Covid-19 with a tenth of all honours going to health and social care staff.

Women make up 49% of those honoured, while a record 14.2% of those recognised are from black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds.