News | Published February 06 2020

Hammond and Clarke set to be offered peerages

According to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, Boris Johnson has nominated prominent Brexit critics Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke for seats in the House of Lords.

The former chancellors were both expelled from the Conservative party in September 2019 after supporting a motion which allowed the Opposition to pass the Benn Act.

Before the December election, both announced they would not stand as MPs.

Despite leaving the world of politics, they have continued to criticise government policy, especially regarding Brexit.

In December, Clarke told the Guardian: “I could never get out of Boris – and nobody so far could get out of Boris – what he has in mind for the eventual deal. To say they’re generalities is an understatement.”

Johnson’s decision, therefore, is likely an attempt to bring a long period of internal party dispute to an end, while also recognising the achievements and contribution of both these high-serving former MPs. 

Traditionally, former chancellors are almost always elevated to the House of Lords after their career as MPs comes to an end.

While the nomination and vetting process is not yet complete, the BBC have reported that Johnson will also nominate Ruth Davidson, the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Outside his own party, Johnson is also set to nominate Iain Austin and John Woodcock, both Labour MPs who eventually quit the party after being highly critical of outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn. Indeed, during the December election, both campaigned against Mr Corbyn. Because of this, if they were to sit in the House of Lords, they would sit as non-aligned peers.

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
February 06 2020

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