Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham to join the House of Lords
Theresa May’s husband Philip will be given a knighthood and Boris Johnson’s brother Jo will get a peerage alongside anti-Brexit ex-Tory chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond as well as Ian Botham on Government’s list of 36 new peers
- Government publishes list of 36 new peers who will join the House of Lords
- List is headlined by England cricketing legend and Brexiteer Sir Ian Botham
- Ruth Davidson, Philip Hammond Ken Clarke also set to join the upper chamber
- Meanwhile, Theresa May’s husband Philip is set to be handed a knighthood
Theresa May’s husband Philip is to be given a knighthood while England cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham will join the House of Lords after he was named on a list of 36 new peers which also includes Boris Johnson’s brother Jo.
The Government published its list of proposed peerages and political honours this afternoon with Mr May set to be honoured ‘for political service’.
The list confirms that Sir Ian, 64, will sit as an unaffiliated crossbench peer in the upper chamber.
Jo Johnson, the former universities minister who stood down from the House of Commons at the last general election, is one of a handful of former Tory MPs who are being elevated.
He will be joined by former chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond. Former Conservative Party chairman and ex-transport secretary Sir Patrick McLoughlin has also been handed a peerage.
The former leader of the Scottish Tories, Ruth Davidson, is also on the list of people who will be ennobled.
Mr Johnson’s political opponents immediately seized on the list and claimed the PM was trying to stuff the House of Lords with ‘cronies’.
Sir Ian Botham, the England cricketing legend, is to join the House of Lords as a crossbench peer
Philip May, Theresa May’s husband, is being given a knighthood ‘for political service’
Sir Ian is one of a number of prominent supporters of Brexit to have made the list.
Eurosceptic former Labour MPs Kate Hoey, Gisela Stuart and Frank Field have all been honoured.
Fellow former Labour MPs Ian Austin and John Woodcock – both vocal critics of Jeremy Corbyn during his time as party leader – will join them in the Lords.
The Prime Minister’s chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister is also being made a peer.
Sir Ian will be joined as a crossbench peer by Dame Louise Casey, the former civil servant who authored The Casey Review into opprtunity and integration in 2016, and Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers.
The number of new peers sparked immediate controversy as Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker, said nominating 36 people represented a ‘lost opportunity to reduce numbers’ in the upper chamber.
He said: ‘The result will be that the House will soon be nearly 830 strong – almost 200 greater than the House of Commons.
‘That is a massive policy u-turn. It was only two years ago that the then Prime Minister, Mrs May, pledged herself to a policy of ‘restraint’ in the number of new appointments.
‘It was the first time that any Prime Minister had made such a pledge. This followed a report by a special Lord Speaker’s committee chaired by Lord (Terry) Burns proposing that numbers should be reduced to 600.’
Lord Fowler added: ‘It is also a vast pity that the list has been announced within the first few days of the summer recess when neither House is sitting, and the Government cannot be challenged in Parliament.’
The Government’s list of peerages also prompted an immediate backlash from the PM’s political critics.
Former universities minister Jo Johnson who stepped down as an MP at the last general election has also been ennobled
Ken Clarke, the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer, is also being given a peerage
Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords, Dick Newby, said: ‘Theresa May agreed to limit the number of new Conservative Peers she appointed, but Boris Johnson has ripped up this policy.
‘By giving a large number of his cronies peerages, he has shown that the Tories have abandoned any pretence of reducing the size of the bloated House of Lords.
The SNP’s Pete Wishart said: ‘It’s telling that in the middle of a global health pandemic and economic crisis that is costing thousands of people their jobs, Boris Johnson is handing out jobs for life in the unelected House of Lords to friends and those who have done him favours.
‘The Prime Minister’s idea of levelling up involves gifting his cronies, damaging policy facilitators, and family members with jobs as legislators for life – with no democratic mandate or accountability to people across the UK.’
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