"The whole thing absolutely stinks": Alastair Campbell picks apart House of Lords nominations

3 August 2020, 15:19

By Seán Hickey

The former adviser to Tony Blair said that the apparent cronyism in Boris Johnson's honours list is "what they do in places we used to call developing countries".

Boris Johnson's honours list was released on Friday and criticism for some nominations has come to light, with the PM's brother Jo Johnson and son of a former KGB agent Evgeny Lebedev being put forward to be peers in the House of Lords.

James O'Brien noted that "every administration gets accused of cronyism," and asked former adviser to Tony Blair Alastair Campbell "was there anything different about Friday's list."

"What we're seeing, I'm afraid, is the normalisation in British politics of a level of corruption that we as a country have for years condemned in the countries of others," he said.

Mr Campbell branded the nomination of Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian-born son of a former KGB agent "a bit weird," and argued that the inclusion of the PM's brother Jo Johnson "what they do in places we used to call developing countries."

The PM's brother Jo Johnson has been nominated to as a peer in the House of Lords
The PM's brother Jo Johnson has been nominated to as a peer in the House of Lords. Picture: PA

Mr Campbell didn't hold back in criticising the list, noting that Labour nominations were not on political merit, "they're there for their contribution to Boris Johnson against Jeremy Corbyn."

"The ones that really get my goat," he added, "are the ones that spent all their time campaigning against Brexit because they hate the idea of power by unelected bureaucrats and suddenly being an unelected peer in the House of Lords...becomes very attractive."

"The whole thing absolutely stinks, but so much of what Boris Johnson has brought to our politics absolutely stinks."

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