Johnson in cronyism row after defying Lords committee to make Tory donor a peer

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Boris Johnson is facing a cronyism row after appointing a Tory donor as a life peer.

The prime minister ignored objections from the House of Lords Appointments Committee to elevate the Tory former treasurer Peter Cruddas to the upper house.

Meanwhile Lord Speaker Lord Fowler also voiced concerns about the number of peers Johnson has appointed.

 Lord Fowler
Lord Fowler (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He said:

Mr Johnson has added 16 to his list of appointments bringing the total for the year up to 52 new peers over two lists. This list will bring the total in the House of Lords to over 830 – almost 200 more than the House of Commons.

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On the appointment of Cruddas, a statement on the gov.uk website said:

The House of Lords Appointments Commission was invited by the Prime Minister to undertake vetting of all party political and cross-bench nominations. The commission is an independent non-statutory body. It provides advice but appointments are a matter for the Prime Minister.

The commission has completed its vetting in respect of all nominees. The commission advised the Prime Minister that it could not support one nominee – Peter Cruddas. The Prime Minister has considered the commission’s advice and wider factors and concluded that, exceptionally, the nomination should proceed.

Johnson also appointed QC David Wolfson as a life peer and junior justice minister. Wolfson has publicly backed the prime minister’s stance on controversial legislation.

The Lord Speaker said he would not comment on those appointed. But he added:

It may also now be the time to review the role and the powers of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

Back in June 2020, when the number of life peers nominated stood at 30, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society Darren Hughes said:

At 800 members, the unelected House of Lords is already the most bloated chamber in the developed world. However, the real problem is not just its size but the fact that governments find that – for all the talk of ‘ending cronyism’ – the urge to appoint party donors and loyalists is irresistible… Since the election, we’ve already seen MPs stand down or lose their seats and get a life pass to vote on our laws. It is no wonder the public see the unelected Lords as a private members’ club on the river Thames.

Now the number of nominees has almost doubled.

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  • Show Comments
    1. The challenge is to remove the stimulus to corrupt politicians. When someone who wants to be a dictator, people die amidst the hate they create.
      Everything Johnson, and Starmer are doing can be found easily in the woes of Africa over the last 100 years plus in Martin Merdith’s book ” Fortunes of Africa ” a 5000 year history of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavor. He’s a Journalist living near Oxford. These journalists are our only voice.
      To move beyond Beyond Politics is our only option to survive as
      everyone is made of the left, right, and centre politcal spectrum but we’re all human unless corrupted by this arrogance of wealth.
      These people become monsters easily seen with Trump, and so do many captivated by the leadership of violence.
      This social biology of human nature will extinquish us, and the jeweled rock in the universe we live in of diverse life unless we consciously change their failures so life may be served instead of death.
      This Death Culture is alive, and well as the world moves on to a beautiful vision begun with the French, American, Russian Revolutions looking for liberty with human rights, and dignity.
      It hasn’t been easy but we’re trying.
      Good step to eliminate the “appointments only please” ruling concept of democracy by the House of Lords, and the Peerage system.
      We’ll perish otherwise. Brexit, Coronavirus is proof now of their failure.
      Don’t pick up a weapon, its the game they love.

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