Boris Johnson resignation honours set to cost Britons £559,000 a year

Claire Fox fumes over ‘unelected’ Lords

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Boris Johnson has reportedly nominated around 20 people for peerages in his resignation honours list. The move would cost British taxpayers £559,180 a year, based on estimates by the Electoral Reform Society of an annual cost of £27,959 per peer.

The names put forward by the ex-PM, who left office in September, include four MPs who are understood to have agreed to delay heading to the Lords until the end of the current Parliament to spare Rishi Sunak be-elections.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries is expected to be on Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list, along with Cop26 President Alok Sharma, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and former minister Nigel Adams.

Other nominations are said to include Mr Johnson’s former chief of staff Dan Rosenfield, deputy Ben Gascoigne and advisers Ross Kempsell and Charlotte Owen.

Ben Houchen, the Tory mayor for Tees Valley, Kulveer Ranger, a former adviser to Johnson at City Hall, former Tory London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey and Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, a Conservative donor, are also said to be on the list.

Sources close to Mr Johnson did not deny the report in The Times.

The annual cost per peer by the Electoral Reform Society is calculated by using the average attendance and travel allowance paid to peers who claimed in the financial year 2021-22 and were eligible to sit for the whole year.

It comes as Liz Truss is also due to put together a resignation honours list following her short-lived premiership.

Dr Jess Garland, director of policy and research at the Electoral Reform Society, told “We’ve already seen 26 new appointments announced in recent weeks – sending the bloated House of Lords to over 800 members.

“With Johnson’s new list and Truss’ resignation honours still to come this is only going to get worse.

“Lifetime appointments to make our laws are being handed out at the whim of ex-prime ministers even after they’ve left office – acts of political patronage that look more like rewards for loyalty than necessary additions to create an effective and experienced second chamber.

“We need a smaller, elected House of Lords, where lawmakers are chosen by the people they serve not hand-picked by the prime minister of the day.

“It’s time to end this farce and deliver the democratic second chamber our country needs.”

It comes as Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride this morning said he thinks the House of Lords needs reform.

Asked if he believes it is appropriate that service to a prime minister should be rewarded in this way, Mr Stride said it would not be right for him to “start opining on individual appointments”.

But he admitted he thinks the Lords needs reform, highlighting that it has swelled to greater than the size of the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee.

He told Times Radio: “The House of Commons probably as a body generally would not be happy with the size of the House of Lords, the fact that… what is effectively an undemocratic body perhaps has a role in certain areas that it does.

“And I think there are few in the House of Commons who wouldn’t say that there should be change.

“The problem is that the House of Commons, when it’s looked at this matter in the past, has never been able to coalesce around a single solution and thereby affect change.

“But if your question is does the… House of Lords need reform?

“I think absolutely and not least to the point you’re making: its size, which has now grown to, I think, over 800 members, which is larger than the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee.

“So I do think there is scope for change, but it is one of those things that has been very difficult to get political consensus on.”

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