Boris Johnson has overruled the peerage watchdog to make former Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas a life peer.
The move went against the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Committee.
A statement posted on the gov.uk website said: “The House of Lords Appointments Commission was invited by the prime minister to undertake vetting of all party political and cross-bench nominations.
“The commission is an independent non-statutory body. It provides advice but appointments are a matter for the prime minister.
“The commission has completed its vetting in respect of all nominees.
“The commission advised the prime minister that it could not support one nominee – Peter Cruddas.
“The prime minister has considered the commission’s advice and wider factors, and concluded that, exceptionally, the nomination should proceed.”
💥Cronyism latest: Boris Johnson has over-ruled HoL Appointments Commission (as he is permitted to do but rarely if ever happens) to give Tory donor and City tycoon Peter Cruddas a peerage. pic.twitter.com/vSH67m1APN
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) December 22, 2020
Former British MEP Daniel Hannan was also awarded a peerage.
Hannan was one of the founding member of the Vote Leave campaign and president of the think-tank the Insititute for Free Trade, which was once described for a former Labour MP as filled with “fanatical hard Brexit-supporting ideologues”.
Lord Speaker Lord Fowler said he had a concern about the number of peers appointed by Boris Johnson.
“Johnson has added 16 to his list of appointments bringing the total for the year up to 52 new peers over two lists. This list will bring the total in the House of Lords to over 830 – almost 200 more than the House of Commons,” Lord Fowler said.
The Lord Speaker said he would not comment on those appointed – apart from to welcome former archbishop of York John Sentamu – but he added that “it may also now be the time to review the role and the powers of the House of Lords Appointments Commission”.