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Monday, March 27, 2023

Seven bizarre Boris Johnson peerage and knighthood appointments

BORIS Johnson has been known for making some let’s say questionable decisions down the years.

Whether it’s getting stuck on a zip wire or quoting The Terminator in his outgoing PMQs speech, the former PM knew how to grab the headlines in all the wrong ways.

He’s said a lot and done a lot during his time in politics. Following his resignation, there has been much speculation over who would make the cut in his honours list.

READ MORE: Holy oil and ‘the orb’: The historic objects of the coronation

The Jouker has rounded up some of the best (or worst) appointments he’s made over the years.

His dad

Let’s start with the big one. It was reported on Monday morning that Johnson will include his father, Stanley, on his honours list.

That’s right – the man who voted to remain in the EU in 2016 has made the cut and could be in line for a knighthood.

The National: Stanley Johnson is reportedly in line for a knighthoodStanley Johnson is reportedly in line for a knighthood

Johnson’s spokesperson has thus far said that they don’t comment on honours list so it remains to be seen whether Johnson’s dad will really make it in the end but he has got a history when it comes to family. 

His brother

Keen to keep everyone in the family happy, Johnson previously awarded his brother Jo Johnson a peerage.

The announcement sparked anger among many, with SNP MP Pete Wishart saying it was an example of the “worst kind of cronyism”.

Jo Johnson previously served as the minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation and was the MP for Orpington from 2010 to 2019.

The National: Jo Johnson was made a peer by his brother

Jo Johnson was made a peer by his brother

He was created Baron Johnson of Marylebone on October 12 2020.

Evgeny Lebedev

The owner of the Evening Standard and an investor in The Independent, Russian-British businessman Lebedev was given a life peerage in 2020.

It was then reported in The Sunday Times that security services warned handing out the peerage represented a national security risk which Johnson described as “simply incorrect”.

The National: Lebedev was made a peer in 2020Lebedev was made a peer in 2020

The businessman stated that neither he or is a family are a security risk.

Harry Mount

This is one of The Jouker’s favourites. We’ve cheated a little bit on this one seen as it’s not techincally someone on the honours list but it was too good not to include. 

Keeping up with the cronyism theme, Johnson chose an author of a book on his “wit and wisdom” (yes, you read that correctly) to help oversee the appointment of new peers.

READ MORE: Matt Hancock lawyer forced into apology on GB News following ‘mistake’

Journalist Mount, a former Bullingdon Club member and the author of The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson reportedly took up the roll last September.  

His father is Ferdinand Mount, who served as an adviser to Margaret Thatcher. He is also second cousin to David Cameron.

Ian Botham

On the face of it, appointing ex-cricketer Botham as a lord might strike you as odd and it is indeed hard to argue with that.

However, a delve into the sportsman’s political beliefs go some way in offering a little explanation.

The National: The former cricketer was appointed to the House of LordsThe former cricketer was appointed to the House of Lords

Botham, known as Beefy, was once asked about Britain’s departure from the EU to which he replied, “enough’s enough”.

He said he felt power was being “eroded by Brussels” and went on to take his seat in the House of Lords on October 5.

Alister Jack

The Scottish Secretary stood firm with the former PM over multiple scandals, even during the final hours of his tenure, defending pandemic partying and sticking by him amid a wave of resignations.

His loyalty was seemingly rewarded with Jack reportedly being lined up for a peerage alongside fellow loyalist Nadine Dorries.

The National: Alister Jack is reportedly in line for a peerageAlister Jack is reportedly in line for a peerage

In response, the SNP called on Jack to immediately resign with Kirsty Blackman saying a by-election should come as a result.

“Baron Jack will be kept company in the Lords by other election dodgers and democracy deniers – he’ll have a good time raking in upwards of £300 a day at the taxpayers’ expense.

“Though it makes sense to place him in the Lords, given that as Scotland Secretary he has experience of being part of an archaic institution not needed or fit for purpose in the 21st century”, she added.

Nadine Dorries

How could we forget Boris’s old pal Nadine? Like Jack, she remained loyal to the bitter end even as her old boss became more and more embroiled in scandal.

The National: Dorries is a long-time ally of JohnsonDorries is a long-time ally of Johnson

Even after his exit, Dorries would often use Twitter to continue to praise the former prime minister’s efforts in securing the Conservative Party a majority.

Dorries, who recently tearfully announced she would be stepping down as an MP, shouldn’t be too worried though.

If reports are anything to go by, she’ll be set to take her seat in the House of Lords soon enough.

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