A leading Oxford scientist who has been targeted by animal rights campaigners has found himself at the centre of controversy, this time for failing to be included in the New Year's Honours List.

Colin Blakemore, former chief executive of the Medical Research Council, is believed to have been nominated for a knighthood but was overlooked because of his controversial work on vivisection.

Professor Blakemore, 63, a neuroscientist at Oxford University, was first targeted by activists in the mid-1980s.

Fellow scientists have called for the Government to honour his work.