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Who is reportedly on Boris Johnson’s honours list? PM Rishi Sunak to accept submissions

The decision was made amid tension between Sunak and Johnson on the Covid-19 public probe (PA Wire)
The decision was made amid tension between Sunak and Johnson on the Covid-19 public probe (PA Wire)

Within the next weeks, prime minister Rishi Sunak is reportedly expected to pass through Boris Johnson's honours list, which is likely to result in two by-elections.

According to information provided to The Times, the prime minister would accept Johnson's 50-strong list of resignation honours in the hopes that it will help put an end to the months-long hostility between the two politicians.

However, it might cause Sunak some trouble because by-elections may be necessary in autumn as Alok Sharma, the COP26 president, and Nadine Dorries, the former cultural secretary under Johnson, are anticipated to resign in order to accept peerages.

The decision was made amid tension between Sunak and Johnson on the Covid-19 public probe and whether or not the former prime minister's undeleted WhatsApp texts from the pandemic should be provided.

Here’s everything you need to know about Mr Johnson’s honours list.

What is an honours list?

The prime minister’s resignation honours are distinctions granted by an outgoing PM.

The current monarch may be asked to bestow any number of people with peerages, knighthoods, damehoods, or other honours under the British honours system.

In the case of peerages, the House of Lords Appointments Commission vets the list.

Who is on Boris Johnson’s honours list?

The Times reported that former culture secretary Dorries, Sharma, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, and ex-minister Nigel Adams are anticipated to be on Mr Johnson's list.

Mr Johnson has also reportedly nominated two of his trusted advisers to become the youngest life peers in history: Ross Kempsell, a former political director for the Conservative Party, and Charlotte Owen, a former personal assistant to the ex-prime minister.

Shaun Bailey, the former London mayoral candidate who faced a backlash for attending a mid-lockdown Christmas party, is also said to be on the list.

Ben Houchen, the Tory mayor for Tees Valley, Kulveer Ranger, a former adviser to Mr Johnson at City Hall and Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, a Conservative donor, are also said to be included.

What has the reaction been to the honours list?

Johnson has reportedly nominated around 50 people for peerages in his resignation honours list - but renewed calls are being made to cancel his choices.

Critics have since said plans must be abandoned for a resignation honours list, while the issue is ongoing.

The prime minister is also being placed under increasing pressure to cancel the list, with critics labelling it “wrong” that Johnson could send his “friends” to the House of Lords while he is still under investigation by police over ‘Partygate’.

The Cabinet Office last month handed the former PM’s pandemic diaries to police amid concerns more rules had been broken during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The concerning diary entries are alleged to detail around 12 events at both Chequers, and at Number 10, between June 2020 and May 2021, and were initially handed to government lawyers by Johnson himself when he was first investigated.

The prime minister should "refuse to do Boris Johnson's bidding," Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner has said, and reject his demands.

“This disgraced ex-prime minister’s plot to dodge democracy by trying to reward his MP lackeys with promised jobs for life in the House of Lords yet again puts the Tory Party’s interests before the public’s,” she said.

Agreeing with Ms Rayner, Andy McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesbrough, tweeted: “This is what happens when you have a second parliamentary chamber based on parentage and patronage. The House of Lords should be abolished but the spectacle of a disgraced Prime Minister handing out peerages to his acolytes is utterly outrageous.”

Reacting to the news, the Women’s Equality Party tweeted: “Honour (noun): the quality of knowing or doing what is morally right.”