Two Remain-backing MPs who had the Conservative Party whip removed for voting against Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Brexit have been nominated for peerages.
Prime Minister Johnson nominated the former MPs Philip Hammond, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister Theresa May’s right-hand man, and Tory grandee and Europhile activist Ken Clarke.
Downing Street is also believed to have nominated the anti-Brexit former leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson to gain a seat in the House of Lords, according to information received by the BBC.
The government would not confirm the contents of the Dissolutions Honours List. Neither Mr Hammond nor Mr Clarke have had the whip restored, meaning they would sit as “non-affiliated” peers. The appointments committee in the House of Lords is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss and vet the nominations.
Mr Hammond was accused of blocking the Treasury from planning a no-deal, clean break Brexit. While Mr Clarke — who said in 1996 that he “look[ed] forward to the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a Council Chamber in Europe” — had offered to depose Prime Minister Johnson last year in order to stop a no-deal Brexit.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 18, 2019
The reported appointments will evoke criticism from leading Brexiteers, with former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib criticised the ennoblements as a “breach of trust” with the British people.
Mr Habib wrote in The Telegraph: “It is therefore a huge breach of this trust that he has decided to elevate Messrs Hammond and Clarke to the House of Lords. These two individuals were at the heart of the Parliamentarian fight against Brexit. They stood with the EU against the will of the British People. There can be no explanation for their elevation other than Conservative Party cronyism.”
Expressing concern that the elevations portend the direction of the Johnson administration, Mr Habib, who is the CEO of First Property Group, said: “If the elevation of Hammond and Clarke reflects the underlying values of the Johnson administration, he would have proven that he is not one of the People and that they have been betrayed.”
“And at the same time, the man that took Brexit from the political fringe to the mainstream, the man that did more than any other to win Brexit, Nigel Farage, stands wholly unrecognised by the establishment,” Mr Habib added.
Tory Brexiteer Calls on Government to Knight Nigel Farage https://t.co/Mc4yaXuj9E
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 18, 2019