Boris Johnson awards close allies in resignation honours list

Tory MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel are awarded a knighthood and a damehood respectively

Opponents claimed Boris Johnson should not have been allowed a resignation honours list due to his controversial time as prime minister. Reuters
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Boris Johnson’s long-awaited resignation honours list has been released, with the former British prime minister nominating close allies for peerages and other gongs.

Mr Johnson handed peerages to former London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey and Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, while giving staunch loyalists Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel a knighthood and a damehood respectively.

Benjamin Gascoigne, a former deputy chief of staff to the ex-prime minister will enter the House of Lords, alongside Ross Kempsell, a former political director of the Conservative Party.

At 29, Charlotte Owen, a former adviser to Mr Johnson, will become one of the youngest peers, while Kulveer Singh Ranger, a former director of transport while Boris Johnson was London mayor, will also be elevated to the Lords.

Former No 10 chief of staff Dan Rosenfield will also enter the upper chamber.

Those put forward for a knighthood include former business secretary Mr Rees-Mogg, former housing secretary Simon Clarke and MPs Conor Burns and Michael Fabricant.

Former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Ben Elliot and William Lewis, a political adviser to Mr Johnson, are also in line to become knights bachelors.

Former home secretary Ms Patel has been nominated for a damehood, along with former ministers Andrea Jenkyns and Amanda Milling.

Nadine Dorries, who has announced she is stepping down as an MP with immediate effect, tweeting it had been an honour to serve her Mid Bedfordshire constituency. PA

The former head of operations at No 10, Shelley Williams-Walker, will also receive a damehood, along with Mr Johnson’s former personal assistant, Ann Sindall.

Notably absent from the list were former culture secretary Nadine Dorries and Sir Alok Sharma, president of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, following reports the government cut them at the 11th hour to swerve potentially damaging by-elections in their seats.

However, Ms Dorries announced earlier on Friday that she was stepping down as an MP with immediate effect – triggering a by-election in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency in eastern England.

Downing Street sought to distance Prime Minister Rishi Sunak from the list.

“He had no involvement or input into the approved list,” the Prime Minister’s press secretary said.

Lord Newby, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, called Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list a “clear failure of leadership” from the Prime Minister.

“Boris Johnson caused crisis after crisis in this country. His lack of honour means he didn’t deserve an honours list in the first place.

“Yet Sunak has caved in, rewarding Johnson for his reckless behaviour as prime minister. The British public will be outraged at this out of touch decision.

“Rishi Sunak needs to come before Parliament immediately to justify his cowardly failure to block Boris Johnson’s Honours list.”

Updated: June 09, 2023, 6:26 PM