LONDON — Jacob Rees-Mogg and a series of arch-Brexiteers are to be given knighthoods and damehoods as a part of Boris Johnson’s newly-released resignation honors list.
Several aides closely connected to the COVID rule-breaching Partygate scandal were also nominated for gongs, after months of speculation.
Resignation honors allow an outgoing British prime minister to draw up a list of people they believe should gain knighthoods, damehoods, seats in the U.K.’s unelected House of Lords, and other titles.
Former ministers and close Johnson allies Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel, Simon Clarke, Conor Burns and Amanda Milling were among those to be nominated for knighthoods and damehoods by the ex-prime minister.
They join backbench Tory Brexiteers Michael Fabricant and former Conservative Party chair Ben Elliot, the nephew of Queen Camilla, in the queue for knighthoods — meaning they will be able to style themselves “Sir.”
Former senior No. 10 civil servant Martin Reynolds, a top official at the heart of government when lockdown-breaking events took place in Whitehall, is among the aides to be rewarded.
Reynolds invited people to a “socially distanced drinks” at No. 10 in May 2020, when the country was under lockdown. He will become a “companion of the Bath.”
Johnson’s current press aide Ross Kempsell gets a peerage, as do his former chief of staff Dan Rosenfield and ex-aide Ben Gascoigne.
Notable by her absence from the list was Nadine Dorries, a close Johnson ally and former Cabinet minister — who promptly announced Friday afternoon that she’s quitting as an MP with immediate effect.
Her move comes after the Times reported current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his team blocked her from getting a place in the House of Lords to avoid a potentially dangerous by-election which will now happen anyway.
The opposition Labour Party seized on the appointments to take a shot at Sunak. “It’s shameful that Rishi Sunak has failed to stand up to his former boss’s outrageous demands and agreed to hand out prizes to this carousel of cronies,” said deputy leader Angela Rayner.
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