Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused to knight Steve Jobs because the sick Apple boss had turned down an invitation to address a labour Party conference.

According to a story in The Telegraph a former senior Labour MP has claimed he nominated Jobs for the honour for services to technology.

The former MP, who left Parliament at the last election, told The Telegraph: “Apple has been the only major global company to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced.

“No other CEO has consistently shown such a commitment.”

Sir Steve Jobs knighthood

The MP says that Apple was aware of the proposal, and that it reached the final stages of approval before being rejected by PM Brown.

In 2005 Microsoft founder Bill Gates, arch rival to Jobs, was awarded an honorary knighthood.

Gates was awarded the title KBE, or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his contribution to enterprise, employment, education and the voluntary sector in the UK, and for his efforts to reduce poverty in the developing world, including parts of the British Commonwealth.

At the time Times columnist John Noughton described the award as “absurd”: "The news will raise hollow laughs from those familiar with Microsoft's baleful effect on the software industry worldwide. And it will puzzle those who wonder what his precise contribution has been to UK enterprise.”

In November 2006 Apple's head of design, the British-born Jonathan Ive, collected his CBE from Her Majesty the Queen in London.

Ive is now rumoured to be leaving Apple so he can return to the UK with his family.

The unnamed former MP claims he was told by Downing Street that the decision was related to a failed attempt to attract Mr Jobs to Labour’s annual conference, states The Telegraph.