'A carousel of cronies': Angela Rayner blasts 'gaslighting' Boris following former PM's resignation honours list

10 June 2023, 09:18 | Updated: 11 June 2023, 00:12

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner slammed Boris Johnson's resignation honours list, labelling his actions 'incredulous'.
Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner slammed Boris Johnson's resignation honours list, labelling his actions 'incredulous'. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

As Boris Johnson's resignation honours list rewards key allies including Priti Patel and Jacob Rees-Mogg, Labour's deputy leader branded the former PM's actions a 'slap in the face' to those who lost loved ones during Covid.

Speaking with Andrew Castle, Angela Rayner's comments follow the publication of the former Prime Minister's honours list on Friday afternoon, featuring a number of Boris Johnson's allies and close friends involved in the Partygate scandal.

Those on the list include Priti Patel who will receive the title of Dame Commander and Jacob Rees Mogg, Michael Fabricant and Guto Harri who will all receive knighthoods.

Labelling the actions of the former PM "incredulous", the Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne took a swipe at the outgoing MP, saying he "took the public for fools".

"The carousel of cronies he's tried to put through completely undermines the whole House of Lords, which to be honest, most members of the public don't understand how these gongs are given out anyway," Rayner told Andrew Castle.

"The fact he's just tried to put his mates and people who propped him up and broke the rules as well during Covid has just been a slap in the face for those who went through what is one of the most traumatic experiences of this generation."

Scroll down for the full list

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Angela Rayner is 'glad' Boris Johnson has resigned

"My legacy's going to be wonderful," said Rayner.

"His legacy is one of a government where at a time when the country needed them the most, squandered that trust, lied to the British people, tried to get away with parties when people couldn't see their loved ones who were dying and basically took the public for fools."

Speaking of how both parties should uphold their duties to the public, Rayner said: "If we don't stand for our democracy then we don't stand for anything".

"I remember him at the select committee where he again tried to gaslight the whole British nation," she continued, adding: "I think he believes his own lies".

She added that Johnson had "squandered" the Tory majority, adding: "We don't need clowns like him on the international stage because he has made the UK a laughing stock."

Also on the list is Sir Martin Reynolds who has been made a Companion of the Bath. Mr Johnson's former private secretary was a key figure in Partygate scandal. Nicknamed 'Party Marty', he was responsible for sending out the email invites for "socially distanced drinks" during lockdown.

Nominated for life peerages in the House of Lords include: Lord Shaun Bailey, the former Tory mayor of London candidate, Lord Benjamin Houchen and Lord Ross Kempsell.

Read more: Boris Johnson's statement announcing resignation as an MP in full

Dame Priti Patel was among those named on the honours list.
Dame Priti Patel was among those named on the honours list. Picture: Getty

Lord Houchen has come under fire in recent months amid accusations of corruption during the Teesworks project. The list finally arrived after months of to and fro with the current government, which had to approve the nominations made.

It comes just an hour after former culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, announced that she would be stepping down from her role as MP with immediate effect.

She said: "It has been an honour to serve as the MP for such a wonderful constituency but it is now time for someone younger to take the reins."

Ms Dorries was reportedly previously nominated for the honours list before being dropped.

Also dropped for nomination was Stanley Johnson, the former Prime Minister's father.

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said of the list: “Instead of tackling the cost-of-living crisis, the Tories are spending their time doling out rewards for those who tried to cover up rule-breaking and toadied to a disgraced former prime minister.

“It’s a sickening insult that those who planned Covid parties and held boozy lockdown bashes while families were unable to mourn loved ones are now set to be handed gongs by Rishi Sunak.”

Read more: Nadine Dorries to stand down as MP with 'immediate effect' setting up tricky by-election for Rishi Sunak

Read more: Labour shadow minister Bambos Charalambous suspended by the party after complaint about his conduct

Sir Jacob Rees Mogg was also included on the list.
Sir Jacob Rees Mogg was also included on the list. Picture: Alamy

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said: "Boris Johnson has been allowed to hand out gongs to his partygate pals, and Rishi Sunak has just waved it through."

She added: "The fact that one of the most scandal-ridden prime ministers is now allowed to stuff his cronies in the Lords after a failed premiership tells the British public everything they need to know about this Conservative Party."

Individuals nominated for a peerage must resign from their role as MP, but this does not apply to those awarded with damehoods and knighthoods.

Those online have highlighted Rishi Sunak's limited involvement in approving the list, as one wrote: "As Johnson’s honours list published, Sunak trying to distance. This just released from PM press sec: PM had not involvement or input into the approved list."

The Prime Minister's press secretary described Mr Sunak's involvement: “As is convention, the Prime Minister forwarded the former Prime Minister’s peerage list to HOLAC [House of Lords Appointments Commission] unaltered.

“HOLAC then passed back their approved list. The Prime Minister then accepted HOLAC’S approved list and forwarded it unamended to the Sovereign for their approval.

"He had no involvement or input into the approved list."

Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP for Aberavon, said: "The honours list reads like a carousel of Boris Johnson’s cronies, including some very dubious names.

"It is astonishing that the Prime Minister has caved in yet again because of the warring factions in the Conservative Party."

Honours list in full:

Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour

Sir William Nigel Paul Cash Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee. For political and public service.

Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Andrea Marie Jenkyns: MP, Former Assistant Whip and Minister for Skills. For political and public service.

The Right Honourable Amanda Anne Milling: MP, Former Minister without Portfolio. For political and public service.

The Right Honourable Priti Patel: MP, Former Home Secretary. For political and public service.

Ann Sindall: MP, Personal Assistant to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson. For political and public service.

Michelle Williams-Walker: Former Special Adviser and Head of Operations for the Prime Minister. For political and public service.

Knighthood

The Right Honourable Conor Burns: MP, Former Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office. For political and public service.

The Right Honourable Simon Richard Clarke: MP, Former Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. For political and public service.

Benjamin William Elliot: Former Co-Chair of the Conservative Party. For political and public service.

Michael Louis David Fabricant: Conservative MP for Lichfield. For political and public service.

William John Lewis: Political Adviser to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP. For political and public service.

The Right Honourable Jacob William Rees-Mogg: MP, Former Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency. For political and public service.

Order of the Bath

Companion of the Bath

Martin Alexander Baillie Reynolds: Former Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister. For public service.

Order of the British Empire

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

Guto Harri Former Director of Communications at Downing Street and London City Hall. For political and public service.

Rosemary Bate-Williams Former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister. For political and public service.

David Joseph Blair Former Foreign Affairs Speechwriter to the Prime Minister and Former Chief Foreign Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. For public service.

Colin Cromarty Bloom Former Faith Engagement Advisor to the Prime Minister. For political and public service.

Henry Charles Rixar Cook Former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister. For political and public service.

Jack Doyle Former Downing Street Director of Communications. For political and public service.

Roisha Maria Hughes Former Principal Private Secretary to the Mayor of London. For public service.

Ray Arthur Lewis Former Deputy Mayor of London. For political and public service.

Order of the British Empire

Officers of the Order of the British Empire

David Bruno John Canzini Former Political Advisor to the Prime Minister. For political and public service.

Samantha Helen Cohen CVO Former Director of the Office of the Prime Minister. For political and public service.

Alexander Karczewski Crowley Former Political Adviser to the Prime Minister. For political and public service.

Rebecca Rose Haggar Kaikitis Councillor, London Borough of Hillingdon. For political and public service.

Samantha Geraldine Harrison Former interim Permanent Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Office of the Prime Minister. For public service.

Benjamin Robert Mallet Former Strategy Director for the General Election and London Campaign Director. For political and public service.

Robert Mark Raymond Oxley Former Press Secretary at Downing Street. For political and public service.

Daniel James Ritterband Former Head of the Mayor of London Campaign. For political and public service.

Sarah Elizabeth Rebecca Vaughan-Brown Former Personal Adviser to Carrie Johnson. For political and public service.

Dr William Gerald Winter Warr Senior Vice President, Global Health Strategy at BioNTech, former Senior Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Health, Social Care and Life Sciences. For political and public service.

Catherine Grace Rostron OBE Senior Parliamentary Assistant and Special Adviser to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP. For political and public service.

Order of the British Empire

Members of the Order of the British Empire

Kelly Jo Dodge Long-time Parliamentary hairdresser. For Parliamentary service.

Andrea Laybourne Former Parliamentary Secretary to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP. For political and public service.

Richard John Mark Senior Parliamentary Assistant to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP. For political and public service.

Gregory Alexander Munro Senior Assistant and Adviser to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP. For political and public service.

Alexander Joseph Bryan Simpson Former Parliamentary and Constituency Secretary to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP. For political and public service.

Lynda Teresa Summers Former London Borough of Hillingdon. For public service.

Peerages list in full:

Peerages for life

Mr Shaun Stephen Bailey: Current Conservative member of the London Assembly.

Mr Benjamin Gascoigne: Former Political Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff to the former Prime Minister Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP.

Mr Benjamin Houchen: Current Tees Valley Mayor.

Mr Ross John Kempsell: Political Director of the Conservative Party and Director of the Conservative Research Department.

Miss Charlotte Katherine Tranter: Owen Former Special Advisor to the former Prime Minister Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP.

Mr Kulveer Singh: Ranger Formerly Director of Transport for Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP whilst Mayor of London, and Special Adviser to UK Government on digital strategy

Mr Daniel Robert Rosenfield: Former Downing Street Chief of Staff for the Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP.

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