Johnson’s surprise announcement on Friday that he was leaving his seat in the British Parliament once again highlighted the cracks in the ruling Conservative Party.
Emotions have also been stirred around the list of people Johnson, as the former prime minister, has chosen to reward with various awards and nominations to the House of Lords. The list was published just hours before Johnson’s resignation and contains the names of several of his closest allies within the Conservative Party.
These include former ministers Simon Clarke, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel, who have been honored with the titles “Knight” and “Dame” respectively. Honorary awards are also given to many of Johnson’s close advisers during his tenure as prime minister. The controversial name is Martin Reynolds, embroiled in the so-called “Partigate” scandal when in May 2020 he called a party at Downing Street government house while the country was under covid restrictions.
Another name that stands out on the list is Kelly Dodge, the longtime manager of Parliament’s hair salon.
However, several important allies found themselves short of expected nominations for seats in the House of Lords. Two of those, Nadine Doris and Nigel Adams, have announced that they are now following in Johnson’s footsteps and stepping down from their seats in Parliament.
Eight of Johnson’s nominees have been given their rejections by the House of Lords Appointments Committee (Holac), which vets candidates, a spokesperson for the advisory body confirmed, without naming any names.
Incumbent Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday alleged that Johnson had asked him to ignore Holac’s recommendations when drawing up the final list. Something Sunak says he can’t agree to.
– I didn’t feel comfortable. And if that makes faces sour, so be it, says Sunak at a conference in London, according to the BBC.
Johnson calls Sunak’s claim “nonsense”. It was just a matter of asking Holac to revise their review, “just a formality,” says Johnson Even the BBC.
The former prime minister announced his resignation from parliament on Friday. This is after he obtained preliminary findings from a report examining whether he made misleading statements about parties held in Downing Street during the Covid pandemic.
In his resignation statement, Johnson accused the Inquiry of conducting a witch hunt against him with a view to expelling him from Parliament. The committee is expected to publish its findings this week.
By voluntarily giving up his parliamentary seat, Johnson avoids a possible suspension. Observers speculated whether he aspires to return to politics at a later stage.
From his position on the sidelines, with strong support in parts of the Conservative Party, he will at least continue to cause trouble for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his brigades, British media reported.
Senators in the British Parliament, the House of Lords, are not elected by general election, but by various forms of appointment.
One possibility is for him to be appointed by the outgoing prime minister. And those, according to a long-standing tradition, have the right to nominate persons for seats in the Senate, as well as to issue other types of honorary awards.
The names are then submitted to the independent body, the House of Lords Appointments Committee, which reviews the suitability of candidates for the role of a member of the House of Lords.
Candidates must finally be approved by the sitting prime minister, who in a final step will refer the matter to the king for formal approval.
Source: Parliament.uk, BBC
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