Boris Johnson today put his own brother, his former boss, a billionaire Tory donor, a former top aide and a Brexiteer cricketer in the House of Lords for life.
The Prime Minister was slammed for an “insult to voters” amid the coronavirus pandemic – with one MP branding the move “the worst kind of cronyism”.
Jeremy Corbyn also bagged a place for his long-time political secretary in the chamber, where the names of a whopping 36 new peers were quietly slipped online.
The long-awaited list was snuck out today on a hot Friday afternoon, hours after the Prime Minister announced a string of hasty changes to lockdown amid a coronavirus surge.
Its huge size was today branded a “mockery of democracy” and slammed by the Lords’ own Speaker – and is set to cost taxpayers over £1m a year.
Scroll down to read the full list of peers.
The government confirmed there will be 19 new Tory peers, five from the Labour Party and 12 others sitting for smaller parties or as independent “crossbenchers”.
Meanwhile Philip May, husband of former Prime Minister Theresa May, has been awarded a knighthood for “political service”.
The new peers will be able to claim £305 for each day they attend the Lords until they die or retire without ever having to face an election.
Half of the new 36 faces were nominated before the election, while the other half are political peerages which were nominated this year.
A number of the new peers are senior Tories who defied the PM’s hard Brexit demands in the last parliament – an apparent move to heal the party and his own family.
Remain-backing ex-Chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond and former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson appear on the list alongside Mr Johnson’s brother Jo.
Jo Johnson stood down as an MP at the last election and resigned as a minister last September, saying he was “torn between family loyalty and the national interest” over his brother hardline approach to Brexit.
Mr Clarke and Mr Hammond were among 21 Conservative MPs who lost the party whip in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
But the inclusion of his own brother – as well as other more political choices for the Lords – is likely to spark angry accusations of cronyism.
Among the 19 receiving a Tory peerage will be Michael Spencer, a billionaire former treasurer of the Conservative Party whose firm IPGL Ltd has donated around £2m to the Tories since 2017.
Former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham will also join the Lords after speaking up for Brexit.
There is a peerage for Daniel Moylan, who was aviation advisor to former London mayor Mr Johnson when he championed a failed plan to build a Thames estuary airport nicknamed “Boris Island”.
So too is there a peerage for Charles Moore, the biographer who was Boris Johnson’s boss at the Daily Telegraph. He said last year the role was a “nightmare” because the future PM was always “terribly late with his copy.”
Meanwhile Claire Fox, a former Brexit Party MEP, will join the Lords as a “non-affiliated” peer.
And there is a crossbench peerage for Evgeny Lebedev – owner of Evening Standard who hired ex-Chancellor George Osborne as editor.
Former Tory MPs James Wharton, Henry Bellingham, Nick Herbert, Mark Lancaster, Ed Vaizey and Mark Lancaster all move from their former lives in the Commons a few hundred yards away to the red benches.
Five former Labour MPs also make the move – but as “non-affiliated” peers. Kate Hoey, Frank Field, Ian Austin, Gisela Stuart and John Woodcock all had deep differences with Labour’s leadership over either anti-Semitism, Brexit or both.
Jeremy Corbyn did however flex his influence in the Dissolution Honours before the 2019 election.
He appointed Katy Clark, a former MP and his long-time political secretary, to the Lords along with trade unionist Bryn Davies.
Former Unite chief Tony Woodley and ex-MP Sue Hayman also become Labour peers in this year’s political peerages list.
The House of Lords is already said to be the second-largest chamber in the world after China’s National People’s Congress.
Today’s massive glut of appointments was slammed by the House of Lords’ own Speaker.
Lord Fowler said: “This list of new Peers marks a lost opportunity to reduce numbers in the House of Lords.
“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 [Theresa May] pledged herself to a policy of ‘restraint’.”
SNP MP Pete Wishart said the move was “the worst kind of cronyism”, as he accused the Prime Minister of giving jobs for life to “friends and those who have done him favours”.
Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said the new peers were likely to cost £1.1m a year based on average claims.
He said: “By appointing a host of ex-MPs, party loyalists and his own brother, the PM is inviting total derision.
“That he can get away with it shows what a private member’s club this house is.
“The Lords was already the largest second chamber in the world. There are now over 800 unelected peers, voting on our laws for life.
“Is packing the Lords with party loyalists really a priority, as a pandemic rages across the world?
“This move is an absolute insult to voters. This is making a mockery of democracy.
“Today marks a nail in the coffin for the idea that the Lords is some kind of independent chamber of experts. It is a house of cronies and party loyalists – we need to see it scrapped and replaced with a fair-elected chamber that’s fit for a democracy.”
The full list of 36 peers
Political Peerages 2020
Nominations from the Leader of the Conservative Party:
1. Lorraine Fullbrook – former Member of Parliament for South Ribble.
2. Sir Edward Udny-Lister – Chief Strategic Adviser to the Prime Minister and former Deputy Mayor of London.
3. Daniel Moylan – Chairman, Urban Design London and former member of Kensington and Chelsea Council.
4. Andrew Sharpe OBE – Chairman of the National Conservative Convention and ViceChair of Policy Forum.
5. Michael Spencer – Chairman of IPGL (Holdings) Ltd and Centre for Policy Studies.
6. Veronica Wadley CBE – Chair of the Expert Panel for Model Music Curriculum and former editor of the Evening Standard.
7. James Wharton – former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development and Member of Parliament for Stockton South.
8. Dame Helena Morrissey – CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30 Per Cent Club.
9. Neil Mendoza – Provost of Oriel College and Non-Executive Board Member of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Nominations from the former Leader of the Labour Party
10. Susan Hayman – lately Member of Parliament for Workington.
11. Prem Sikka – Professor of Accounting at the University of Sheffield.
12. Anthony Woodley – formerly Joint-General Secretary of Unite.
Nominations for non-affiliated Peerages
13. Claire Fox – Director and founder of the Institute of Ideas.
14. Charles Moore – journalist and biographer.
Nominations for Crossbench Peerages
15. Sir Ian Botham – Cricket commentator and Chairman of Durham County Cricket Club.
16. Dame Louise Casey – Former Civil Servant, Visiting Professor King’s College London and Cofounder and Chair, Institute of Global Homelessness.
17. Evgeny Lebedev – Owner of The Independent, The Evening Standard and London Live and patron of Space for Giants.
18. Dame Nemat (Minouche) Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science
Dissolution Peerages 2019
Nominations from the Leader of the Conservative Party:
1. Sir Henry Bellingham – lately Member of Parliament for North West Norfolk and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
2. Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke CH QC – lately Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe and former Chancellor of the Exchequer.
3. Rt Hon Ruth Davidson MSP – Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central and former Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.
4. Rt Hon Philip Hammond – lately Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge and former Chancellor of the Exchequer.
5. Rt Hon Nicholas Herbert CBE – lately Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs and former Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice.
6. Rt Hon Joseph Johnson – lately Member of Parliament for Orpington and Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.
7. Colonel Rt Hon John Mark Lancaster TD VR – lately Member of Parliament for North East Milton Keynes and Minister for the Armed Forces.
8. Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin CH – lately Member of Parliament for Derbyshire Dales, former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Chairman of the Conservative Party.
9. Aamer Sarfraz – Conservative Party Treasurer and Venture Partner at Draper Associates.
10. Rt Hon Edward Vaizey – lately Member of Parliament for Wantage and former Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.
Nominations for the Leader of the Labour Party:
11. Kathryn Clark – former Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran.
12. Brinley Davies – Director of Union Pension Services Ltd.
Nominations for the Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party:
13. Rt Hon Nigel Dodds OBE – lately Member of Parliament for North Belfast and Deputy Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.
Nominations for non-affiliated Peerages
14. Rt Hon Frank Field – lately Member of Parliament for Birkenhead and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
15. Catharine Hoey – lately Member of Parliament for Vauxhall and former Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee.
16. Ian Austin – lately Member of Parliament for Dudley North and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
17. Rt Hon Gisela Stuart – Chair of Wilton Park and former Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston.
18. John Woodcock – UK Special Envoy for Countering Violent Extremism and former Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness.