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Boris Johnson awards close allies and aides linked to partygate in resignation honours list

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel were given a knighthood and a damehood.

BORIS JOHNSON HAS been accused of cronyism after handing out peerages, knighthoods and other gongs to his closest allies, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel, and aides linked to the partygate scandal.

The former prime minister’s long-awaited resignation honours list, released by the British government this afternoon, was branded a “catalogue of cronies” by critics.

Those put forward for a knighthood included staunch loyalist Rees-Mogg, former housing secretary Simon Clarke, and MPs Conor Burns and Michael Fabricant.

Former home secretary Patel was nominated for a damehood, along with former ministers Andrea Jenkyns and Amanda Milling.

The former head of operations at No 10, Shelley Williams-Walker, will also receive a damehood, along with Johnson’s former personal assistant, Ann Sindall.

Johnson also heaped rewards on those who worked in Downing Street at the time of lockdown-busting parties.

Honours for Jack Doyle, who was Johnson’s communications chief when the partygate story broke, and Martin Reynolds, his former principal private secretary who sent the infamous “bring your own booze” email to No 10 staff, are likely to raise eyebrows.

Benjamin Gascoigne, a former deputy chief of staff to the ex-prime minister will enter the House of Lords alongside Ross Kempsell, a former political director of the Conservative Party.

Charlotte Owen, a former adviser to Johnson, will become one of the youngest peers, while Kulveer Singh Ranger, a former director of transport while Boris Johnson was London mayor, will also be elevated to the Lords.

Former No 10 chief of staff Dan Rosenfield will also enter the UK’s upper chamber.

prime-minister-boris-johnson-and-home-secretary-priti-patel-during-a-visit-to-surrey-police-headquarters-in-guildford-surrey-to-coincide-with-the-publication-of-the-governments-beating-crime-plan Former British home secretary Priti Patel has been nominated for a damehood. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Notably absent from the list were former culture secretary Nadine Dorries and Alok Sharma, president of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, following reports the Government cut them at the 11th hour to swerve potentially damaging by-elections in their seats.

Stanley Johnson, the former Conservative leader’s father, was also said to have been put forward for a knighthood. However, his name was also not included on the list. 

Downing Street has sought to distance Rishi Sunak from the list.

“He had no involvement or input into the approved list,” the UK Prime Minister’s press secretary said.

Dorries earlier announced she was standing down as an MP “with immediate effect”, triggering an early election battle in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency.

file-photo-dated-140722-of-nadine-dorries-at-the-launch-of-liz-trusss-campaign-to-be-conservative-party-leader-and-prime-minister-at-kings-buildings-smith-square-london-ms-dorries-will-stand-i Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries was notably absent from the list. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Labour’s Angela Rayner called the list a “sickening insult”.

The deputy leader said: “Instead of tackling the cost-of-living crisis, the Tories are spending their time doling out rewards for those who tried to cover up rule-breaking and toadied to a disgraced former prime minister.

“It’s a sickening insult that those who planned Covid parties and held boozy lockdown bashes while families were unable to mourn loved ones are now set to be handed gongs by Rishi Sunak.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Boris Johnson has been allowed to hand out gongs to his partygate pals, and Rishi Sunak has just waved it through.

“We’ve gone from the lavender list to the catalogue of cronies.”

Richard Newby, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, called Johnson’s resignation honours list a “clear failure of leadership” from the Prime Minister.

“Boris Johnson caused crisis after crisis in this country. His lack of honour means he didn’t deserve an honours list in the first place.

“Yet Sunak has caved in, rewarding Johnson for his reckless behaviour as prime minister. The British public will be outraged at this out-of-touch decision.

“Rishi Sunak needs to come before Parliament immediately to justify his cowardly failure to block Boris Johnson’s Honours list.”

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