PM accused of ‘worst kind of cronyism’ after Lords appointments revealed

The Prime Minister has been accused of "the worst kind of cronyism" following his latest appointments to the House of Lords.

The criticism comes after an announcement that peerages have been granted for the Prime Minister's brother and former Tory minister Jo Johnson, Tory grandees and Brexit backers.

The SNP's Cabinet Office spokesman Pete Wishart said the Prime Minister is "handing out jobs for life in the unelected House of Lords to friends and those who have done him favours".

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Who's heading for the House of Lords?
Minster of State for the Department of Transport Jo Johnson speaking to the media at Nottingham Railway Station after a fire broke out in a block of toilets at the station this morning.
Sir Edward Lister, Boris Johnson's chief of staff, arrives in Downing Street in London.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May speaks to media outside Number 10 of Downing Street in London. (Photo by Yiannis Alexopoulos / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
File photo dated 03/05/2016 of former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (left) talking to Sir Ian Botham, prior to a knock-about during a visit to Chester Le Street Cricket Club in County Durham, as part of his tour on the Vote Leave campaign bus. The former England cricketer is among 30 new peers to be announced later this month, according to The Times.
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Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP in Edinburgh, after it was confirmed Scottish Conservative MP Douglas Ross will stand for leadership of the Scottish Conservatives following the sudden resignation of Jackson Carlaw after less than six months in the post.
Kate Hoey MP speaking on stage at the March to Leave protest in Parliament Square, Westminster, London
File photo dated 22/09/2019 of former Labour MP Ian Austin who is among 30 new peers to be announced later this month, according to The Times.
File photo dated 29/11/2019 of Labour MP, Gisela Stuart who is among 30 new peers to be announced later this month, according to The Times.
Conservative MP Ken Clarke speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Former chancellor Philip Hammond in Whitehall, Westminster, London as Prime Minister Boris Johnson will temporarily close down the Commons from the second week of September until October 14 when there will be a Queen's Speech to open a new session of Parliament.

He added: "The Prime Minister's idea of levelling up involves gifting his cronies, damaging policy facilitators, and family members with jobs as legislators for life – with no democratic mandate or accountability to people across the UK.

"It's the worst kind of cronyism that only highlights the rotten Westminster system that is detached from reality.

"It's clear beyond doubt that Westminster is simply not working for Scotland and that it is acting against our interests. The House of Lords needs to be abolished – not filled further to the brim at the taxpayers' expense."

Darren Hughes, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said the 36 new peers could cost the taxpayer £1.1 million a year.

He said: "By appointing a host of ex-MPs, party loyalists and his own brother, the PM is inviting total derision. That he can get away with it shows what a private member's club this House is.

He added: "Is packing the Lords with party loyalists really a priority, as a pandemic rages across the world?

"This move is an absolute insult to voters. This is making a mockery of democracy.

"Today marks a nail in the coffin for the idea that the Lords is some kind of independent chamber of experts."

Liberal Democrat Lords leader Lord Newby said: "By giving a large number of his cronies peerages, he has shown that the Tories have abandoned any pretence of reducing the size of the bloated House of Lords."

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