There is only one room in the world with more members than the British House of Lords: the Chinese People’s Assembly. Soon it will be more crowded, because Boris Johnson will raise friends and helpers of the nobles.
The basics in brief
- Even in a shameful departure, Boris Johnson is likely to impose his political legacy on Great Britain – and that can hardly be prevented.
According to media reports, political associates, loyal aides and important financiers will move to the Senate at the request of the outgoing prime minister. Despite much criticism, Johnson plans to pave the way for an unusually large number of alleged peers in the House of Lords before he leaves Downing Street.
Speculation about who would benefit from “honoring the prime minister’s resignation” is one of the hottest topics in London politics right now. Many of the names that have already been leaked are causing outrage. In a poll, 54 percent opposed allowing Johnson to appoint lords before his departure, possibly within a month. Only 13 percent think this is good.
There is Culture Minister Nadine Doris, who is probably the most loyal supporter of the conservative prime minister. To the ridicule of many, she threw herself in the rags for him when it seemed hopeless. It was also named for Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former Russian minister and one of the biggest donors to the Conservative Party. Entrepreneur David Ross is also a major donor, arranging a luxury vacation in the Caribbean for Johnson and his partner in the winter of 2019.
Noble for life in the House of Lords
They could all soon sit in the House of Lords as nobles for life – and influence UK politics. Opponents have criticized the second chamber of parliament, calling it a “life-long corridor to influence the laws that govern us and exclusive access to the corridors of power”.
Johnson is by no means the first prime minister to use a “resignation tribute” to honor party friends or close associates. His predecessors such as Theresa May and David Cameron also raised confidants to the House of Lords. But critics doubt Johnson could take advantage of the franchise much more. “His previous appointments to this room and the nature of his hasty departure from his high office speak volumes,” Darren Hughes, president of the Electoral Reform Society, which advocates for reform of the House of Lords, wrote to The Times.
A good ten percent of the more than 800 members of the House of Lords already owe their position to the soon-to-be Prime Minister. Including Johnson’s brother Joe – Baron Johnson of Marylebone – or Yevgeny Lebedev, son of Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, head of the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers and close friend of the prime minister. His strange nickname: Baron Hampton in the Richmond area of London on the Thames and Siberia in the Russian Federation.
List of “resign honors” cause discontent
The New Statesman warns that Boris Johnson’s list of “honorable resignations” would be the ultimate humiliation.’ Dozens of close confidants, key donors and Brexit fans could move into the honorable home. Indeed, only the Chinese People’s Assembly in the world has more members. Lobbying firm CT Group, owned by party adviser Tory Lynton Crosby, has now proposed that Johnson appoint up to 50 Conservative lawmakers to push controversial legislation through Parliament.
It is true that debates in the House of Lords are seldom considered. Many consider it a historical relic. In fact, the second chamber of parliament has an enormous influence. Time and time again, government masters make life difficult. With his appointments, Johnson could shift the balance and make it easier for future Conservative prime ministers to pass Conservative legislation.
Secretary of State Liz Truss, stationed on the right-wing edge of the party, is the most likely candidate to succeed him. On the agenda, among other things, is Great Britain leaving the European Convention on Human Rights in order to be able to tighten its immigration laws more drastically, or ignoring the special Brexit rules binding under international law for Northern Ireland with a new law.
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