Dame Caroline Spelman sidesteps row about David Cameron resignation honours

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Dame Caroline Spelman has spoken of her gratitude towards David Cameron for nominating her for an honour but would not comment on accusations of cronyism levelled at her former boss.

The former environment secretary was made a Dame Commander in Mr Cameron's resignation honours list last summer which was criticised for recognising a string of political supporters, Conservative Party donors and Downing Street staff.

Dame Caroline, who was secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs from May 2010 to September 2012, received her award from the Prince of Wales during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

When asked about the criticisms of Mr Cameron's list, she replied: "It's not for me to comment, it's his choice and I'm very grateful to him for remembering me in his resignation honours."

Also recognised were two other individuals from the former prime minister's resignation list - Sir Craig Oliver, his former director of communications at Downing Street, who was knighted by Charles, and Isabel Spearman, hair stylist to Samantha Cameron, who was awarded an OBE.

The pair had both indicated before the investiture ceremony they did not want to comment to the press.