Theresa May hands peerages to former aides and cricketers in resignation honours

10 September 2019, 00:07 | Updated: 11 September 2019, 10:21

Mrs May honoured several former aides in her honours list
Mrs May honoured several former aides in her honours list. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Theresa May has handed peerages to her former aides in her resignation honours list, in which she also handed knighthoods to cricketers Andrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott.

The former prime minister's chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins - blamed by many Tory MPs for her failed Brexit deal – was also handed a knighthood.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick becomes a dame while Sir Simon Woolley, the founder of operation Black Vote, and Ruth Hunt, the ex-chief executive of Stonewall, are made crossbench life peers.

Mrs May’s former joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill - who were forced to quit No 10 in the wake of the 2017 general election debacle - are made CBEs.

Mr Boycott’s honour prompted outrage from domestic abuse charities after he was convicted in France in 1998 of beating his then girlfriend Margaret Moore in a hotel.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has been made a Dame
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has been made a Dame. Picture: PA

There is likely to be anger among some Tory MPs at the honours for figures they regard as responsible for Mrs May's failed Brexit strategy.

Gavin Barwell - who succeeded Mr Timothy and Ms Hill as her chief of staff - becomes a life peer while David Lidington, seen as her de facto deputy, and ex-Number 10 communications chief Robbie Gibb are knighted.

Former trade minister George Hollingbery, who served as Mrs May's parliamentary private secretary in both Downing Street and the Home Office, also receives a knighthood.

Julian Smith, the former chief whip who has since been made Northern Ireland Secretary by Boris Johnson, is made a CBE.

There are also CBEs for the former Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis, No 10 political aides Paul Harrison and Kirsty Buchanan, as well as Mrs May's official spokesman, James Slack, who continues in the same role with Mr Johnson.

Former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott was honoured in the list, prompting anger from domestic abuse charities
Former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott was honoured in the list, prompting anger from domestic abuse charities. Picture: PA

Sir Kim Darroch, who resigned as ambassador to the United States amid a row with the Trump administration, is made a life peer and will sit as a non-party crossbencher.

Jeremy Corbyn has nominated three new Labour life peers - ex-National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower, Newport City Council leader Debbie Wilcox, and the employment rights lawyer John Hendy QC.

MP John Mann, who announced at the weekend he was quitting Labour to become a government anti-Semitism "tsar" has been nominated for a non-affiliated life peerage while the Green Party have nominated former leader Natalie Bennett for a peerage.

Lady Justice Hallett, the vice president of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, becomes a life peer.

A source close to Mrs May said: "This list recognises the many different people who have made a significant contribution to public life during Theresa May's political career.

Former US Ambassador Kim Darroch has been made a life peer
Former US Ambassador Kim Darroch has been made a life peer. Picture: PA

"It includes not only political colleagues but members of the civil service, civic society, the NHS and the sporting world. It also recognises people from all four nations of the United Kingdom."

The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, said May's list was "substantially smaller" than those drawn up by predecessors, helping to reduce the size of the House of Lords.

"I hope that the current Prime Minister continues this policy of restraint," he added.

Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: "It comes as no surprise that big Tory donors and Number 10 cronies are being honoured yet again.

"The Tories only care about looking after their own and will only stand up for the wealthy few who fund them."

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