Boris Johnson nominates two ex-Tory ministers for peerages who he kicked out of the party last year

The Canary

Former chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond have reportedly been nominated for peerages by Boris Johnson – months after he kicked them out of the parliamentary Conservative Party.

The ex-cabinet ministers stood down in last year’s general election after they had the whip removed by the prime minister when they backed measures designed to block a no-deal Brexit.

But the BBC reported that the pair could return to parliament after being nominated by Johnson for seats in the House of Lords.

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Ruth Davidson (Jane Barlow/PA)
Ruth Davidson (Jane Barlow/PA)

Clarke, who served as an MP for 49 years before stepping down at the end of last year, and Hammond declined to comment.

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who stood down last year in part over Brexit, is also said to have been put forward by Downing Street for a seat in the upper chamber.

And the broadcaster reported that two ex-Labour MPs, Ian Austin and John Woodcock, have been nominated to sit as non-affiliated peers.

General Election 2019
Former Labour MP Ian Austin (Luciana Guerra/PA)

Critics of Jeremy Corbyn, Austin and Woodcock quit Labour before stepping down as MPs at the election, urging voters to back the Tories instead in the December poll to stop Labour coming to power.

Downing Street and the House of Lords Appointments Commission refused to comment on the report.

Former Commons speaker John Bercow has been put forward for a peerage by the outgoing Labour leader Corbyn, but his nomination could be blocked amid allegations that he bullied staff.

David Leakey, who served as black rod until 2018, said that granting Bercow a peerage would be a “scandal that Parliament would struggle to live down”.

The former speaker denies the allegations.

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