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Hundreds of thousands of voters are calling on the Prime Minister to intervene and prevent ousted PM Liz Truss from making a raft of appointments to the House of Lords – despite her lasting less than 50 days in office.
The furore over confirmed-liar Boris Johnson appointing half a dozen peers, including allies implicated in the partygate scandal and a 30-year-old junior aide, is still ongoing. Johnson’s decision to bestow other honours, such as an OBE for his parliamentary hairdresser, has only intensified the public’s frustration.
Now the next scandal is about to land on Rishi Sunak’s desk.
Reports suggest that Liz Truss’s honours list includes numerous individuals close to her, as well as key supporters and donors to the Conservative Party. The Sun has revealed the names of four peers set to be appointed to the unelected chamber in Truss’ resignation list.
Roll-Call of Shame
Tory donor Jon Moynihan and a key advocate of Liz Truss’s economic policies, Mark Littlewood, are among the individuals set to receive lifelong seats in the House of Lords.
Littlewood, the Director of the Institute for Economic Affairs and a former university colleague of Truss, played a significant role in promoting her economic agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy.
Ruth Porter, who served as Truss’s deputy chief of staff during her brief tenure as Prime Minister, is also expected to secure a seat in the second chamber – which already has nearly 800 members.
Porter, previously the head of crisis management firm FGS Global, has been described as a trusted ally of the ex-PM, who was outlasted by the Daily Star’s lettuce.
Matthew Elliott, former Chief Executive of the Brexit Leave campaign and founder of the right-wing Taxpayers’ Alliance group, is also tipped for a peerage.
Tory donor Jon Moynihan is former CEO of consultancy group PA. Moynihan played a role as chairman of the Vote Leave campaign and currently serves as chairman of the pro-Brexit think tank, the Initiative for Free Trade, founded by fellow Tory peer Dan Hannan. Moynihan notably made a £100,000 donation to Boris Johnson.
These individuals could soon receive lifetime appointments to the House of Lords, able to claim £323 a day tax-free to vote on UK laws. An ex-Truss aide told the Daily Express the peerages list was “mad, if true”, adding “it’s a disgrace”. They claimed the view that “no one should be getting anything” is widely held among former members of her team.
After fighting off calls to block Johnson’s tainted list, Prime Minister Sunak will now face additional pressure to prevent Truss’s appointments. Over 220,000 people have backed a Change.org petition calling for Truss to be denied an honours list, with campaign organisers planning to present the petition to No 10 in the coming days.
The petition notes that Liz Truss’s tenure as Prime Minister was beset with incompetence, with the tremors of her’s and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget that shocked the markets last summer still being felt.
Liz Truss is entitled to £115,000 per year from the taxpayer to support her “office” costs for life. Backers of the petition are demanding legislation to prevent former Prime Ministers who resign or are forced to leave before completing a year in office from receiving any perks or privileges associated with the position.
‘It’s a Scandal’
The petitioners argue that it is “insulting and ridiculous” to allow Truss to appoint her friends to the House of Lords, receive severance pay despite not “even lasting three months”.
A spokesperson for Change.org, the platform hosting the petition, said: “It’s a scandal. While we’re all reeling from new Partygate videos and battling rising mortgage interest rates – that she helped cause – Liz Truss is still set to get all the perks of being Prime Minister despite only holding the role for 49 days. This includes her own honours list, like the one Boris Johnson just had approved.”
They added: “After a mini-budget that caused market havoc and inflation, she can award places in the House of Lords to her closest allies and claim £115,000 a year for the rest of her life.”
Rishi Sunak has yet to intervene – and has flatly rejected blocking Boris Johnson’s peerages despite the Privileges Committee report finding he repeatedly lied to the House of Commons over No 10 parties during Covid restrictions.
Willie Sullivan, Senior Director of Campaigns for the Electoral Reform Society, told Byline Times: “This indicates the strength of feeling there is among the public and that what is deemed acceptable in Westminster is not for the wider country. The last few weeks have exposed the grubby horse-trading that goes on over honours lists and who gets peerages.
“However, the prospect of Liz Truss being allowed to hand out jobs-for-life in the Lords as rewards for failure to those who supported her government shows how low the current system is sinking.”
He added that the case “underscores the need for urgent reform of the current unelected and bloated Lords.” The ERS is campaigning to replace the Lords with a smaller elected chamber.
Petition: Liz Truss Should go Without an Honours list and Other Perks
“Liz Truss and the Conservative party need to realise that the public mood is for her to leave quietly without an honours list or any other perks of the job. She has been an incompetent and disgraceful Prime Minister.
“Liz didn’t even last 3 months, there is no other occupation that would grant you anything for that, no honest one anyway. Instead she fell at the first hurdle, making huge and avoidable mistakes because of her arrogance. Consequently the people of the UK experienced even more worry and suffering.
“It now must be made law that a PM that resigns or is forced to go before a year has passed, has no rights to the perks of the job after leaving. It is insulting and ridiculous that she should be able to set her friends up in the House of Lords, receive severance pay and other perks after being such an appalling PM. She blamed circumstance and not herself. She chose such an appalling cabinet that wasn’t fit for purpose.
“She managed one thing, she attended the Queen’s funeral, even Larry the cat could have managed that if they’d provided a comfy enough chair. Stop this nonsense now.”
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