Boris Johnson is understood to be furious after he was blocked from giving peerages to some of the Conservative Party’s financial backers, and is threatening to reform the House of Lords in retaliation.
The Prime Minister is said to be “very frustrated, angry and upset” after a Lords watchdog refused to sign off peerages for some of his business supporters this summer.
Instead, the list – which has been ready to publish for a number of days – will largely consist of political backers, with a second list of financial supporters, including businessmen Johnny Leavesley and Peter Cruddas, due to be published in the autumn.
The House of Lords Appointments Commission is said to have raised objections after the Lords Speaker, Lord Fowler, expressed concerns about the size of the Second Chamber, which is set to surge above 800 after the appointments.
There is no suggestion that any problems have been found with the nominations of Mr Leavesley or Mr Cruddas. Mr Johnson is said to be “very frustrated” about the last-minute hitches.
He has put forward the names of former Labour MPs Frank Field, Ian Austin and John Woodcock after Labour’s nominations for former deputy leader Tom Watson, ex-House of Commons speaker John Bercow and party aide Karie Murphy were blocked.
One source said: “The issue is from the House of Lords itself. They are stamping their feet. There are a lot of people not going in, like Bercow and Watson, and they are slapping Boris around a bit.”
One source said the Prime Minister had expressed his extreme displeasure with the Commission and is now considering measures to reform the watchdog. The source said: “He is going to sort it out.”
Mr Johnson is said to be furious because he sees the new list of peers as people who will advance the Tory cause in the House of Lords, where Conservatives are in the minority.
The Dissolution list – which could be unveiled on Friday – is thought to include the former Conservative MPs James Wharton, Ed Vaisey, Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke. The former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson is understood to have agreed to accept a peerage but will not take it up until she steps down as an MSP next May.
A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment. The House of Lords Appointments Commission was approached for comment.