Disgraced former RBS boss Fred Goodwin was told this afternoon that his knighthood is being removed by order of the Queen. The unprecedented step was taken on the recommendation of a secretive Whitehall body which is responsible for ensuring the honours system does not fall into disrepute. The forfeiture committee, made up of senior civil servants and Government lawyers, met to consider the case after the Daily Mail highlighted growing cross-party pressure for Mr Goodwin’s knighthood to be rescinded. Mr Goodwin was telephoned by Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the home civil service, at 3pm to be given the shattering news. There is no right to appeal. It is a humiliation for the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who has never spoken publicly about his role in the biggest corporate disaster in British history which cost the taxpayer £45bn, and whose lawyers succeeded in getting some direct criticism of him removed from an official report into the collapse of RBS. Honours are very rarely revoked, and it took years of campaigning for hated Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe to lose his knighthood. The most recent high profile case was that of Jean Else, a Manchester superhead who was made a Dame on the recommendation of Labour but was later accused of mismanagement and nepotism at her school. She was stripped of her damehood after a ruling by the forfeiture committee.