Keir Starmer has claimed he won’t submit any allies for honours upon his resignation if he were to become Prime Minister.
Sir Keir once again criticised Rishi Sunak for not blocking Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, despite those name put forward for gongs being implicated in Partygate.
Two individuals filmed breaking rules at a party in Tory HQ, published this weekend by the Mirror, were given prominent honours, including a peerage and an OBE.
Sir Keir said Rishi Sunak should have refused to approve the list before knowing the outcome of the Privileges Committee investigation into whether Boris Johnson misled parliament over parties in Downing Street.
The Labour leader said Mr Sunak should have then blocked the list when the committee concluded Boris had lied.
He added he would have no truck blocking nominations from Mr Sunak’s resignation honours list if he took the keys of power at the next election.
The move would break precedent that PMs don’t interfere in the lists of their predecessors.
Sir Keir also emphatically announced he will make no such nominations when his time comes to depart No. 10.
When asked whether he would have a resignation honours he simply said: “No”.
“There are other opportunities [to hand out honours] but Tony Blair didn’t have a resignation list, it’s very hard to justify.
“If it were reserved for people who had given incredible service – perhaps picking out people who had been involved in development of the vaccine or some other real element of public service – but it’s very hard to see how it’s justified.
“There are other avenues for that and I think it’s easier to be clean about this and simply say I wouldn’t do it. Tony Blair didn’t do it and I wouldn’t do it.”
Sir Keir’s citing of Tony Blair’s record on hours will raise eyebrows, given the ex-Labour PM became enveloped in the ‘Cash-for-Hnours’ scandal in 2006 when several men appointed by Mr Blair to the Lords were rejected by the appointments commission.
It was then revealed they had loaned large amounts of money to the Labour Party.
Gordon Brown didn’t submit a resignation honours list, but did publish a ‘dissolution list’, issued on his advice, that created 16 new Labour peers.
Theresa May achieved the record for new peers announced in her resignation honours list, at 19 new members of the House of Lords.
David Cameron appointed 16 and John Major 10.
By contrast Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list appointed just seven.