Alan JohnstonI’m going to break the first rule of blogging and assume you know who Alan Johnston is - if you don’t then please feel free to click the link from his name to find out more about him.

He has been a man used to informing the public of the news in various war-torn parts of the world, but in 2007 he actually was the news for a great part of the year.

In March he was kidnapped and kept hostage for 117 days, with very little information being released regarding either who was holding him or what state he was in personally.

His employers, the BBC, were under pressure to give in to the demands of his kidnappers but thankfully they held firm and stood their ground - give in and pay a ransom for one reporter and suddenly groups all around the world will see pricetags on the heads of all news reporters and journalists.

Alan Johnston’s family remained strong in-spite of the lack of information regarding his condition, something which must have been so unbelievably hard to bear.  No news is good news or so they say, but not knowing whether he was dead or alive must have been simply horrendous.

And then one day, as if by magic, he was free.  No doubt it involved a lot of negotiating behind the scenes but from the outside it seemed almost miraculous that he was out and about again.

His conduct during his time in captivity and in the aftermath was exemplary - as was the conduct of his family, employers and work colleagues.

For that reason, I decided to start a little petition on the Government’s Number 10 website to push for Alan Johnston to be recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List which will be announced in a few weeks.

If you agree then please join me in signing here to show our support of this remarkable man.  Thank you.