Peerages for PM’s brother, Tory grandees and Brexit backers

The prime minister has nominated his brother Jo Johnson, several Tory-Granden and his strategic advisor for peerages, while numerous Brexit supporters are also campaigning for the Lords.

Former English cricketer Sir Ian Botham, who supported the Leave campaign, newspaper owner Evgeny Lebedev, and former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson were also among the 36 new peerages on Friday.

Philip May, Theresa May's husband, Boris Johnson's predecessor on Downing Street, is knighted "for political service".

The peerage list includes former MPs who rebelled against the Labor position to support Brexit, including Kate Hoey, Ian Austin, Frank Field and Gisela Stuart.

But Mr. Johnson chose conservative former Chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond for peerages after taking the Tory whip from them after challenging him for the Brexit.

He also chose his own brother Jo, who dealt a severe blow to his older sibling when he left his cabinet, citing "national interest".

And Mr. Johnson appointed his chief strategic adviser, Sir Edward Lister, a long-time ally of the Prime Minister to assist him as the Mayor of London.

Mr. Johnson was quickly accused of cronyism by increasing his allies, and Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, accused the Prime Minister of a "massive political U-turn" by further increasing the size of the upper chamber.

Other nominees include Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph and biographer of Margaret Thatcher, and Claire Fox, a Brexit MEP.

Mr. Lebedev, the son of a former KGB employee, holds the Independent and Evening Standard – and has been a friend of Mr. Johnson for a long time.

Conservative former MPs Sir Henry Bellingham, Nicholas Herbert, Mark Lancaster, Sir Patrick McLoughlin and Ed Vaizey were also on the Prime Minister's list.

Nigel Dodds was appointed former Westminster leader of the DUP.

Lord Fowler, a former conservative cabinet minister, said the house would "soon be nearly 830 men" and accused Mr. Johnson "of giving up an established policy" to reduce its size.

Theresa May with her husband Philip
Theresa May with her husband Philip (Dominic Lipinski / PA)

"It is also a shame that the list was released within the first few days of the summer break, when neither of the houses is sitting and the government cannot be challenged in parliament," he continued.

The Liberal Democrat leader in the Lords, Lord Newby, added: "By giving peerages to a large number of his buddies, he has shown that the Tories have given up any excuse to reduce the size of the bloated House of Lords."

SNP MP Pete Wishart said the move was "the worst kind of cronyism" when he accused the Prime Minister of "giving friends and those who have done him a favor" jobs for life.

Notable absent from the list are Labour's former deputy chairman Tom Watson and the last Commons spokesman, John Bercow, although it is traditional for the government to propose the retired spokesman's name for peerage.

They are said to have been nominated by former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.

But Mr. Bercow is said to have been rejected by the independent Lords Appointment Commission over a series of bullying allegations that he contested.

Darren Hughes, chief executive of the electoral reform company, said: “By appointing a large number of ex-MPs, party loyalists and his own brother, the prime minister is inviting total ridicule. That he can get away with it shows what a private member club this house is. "

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