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Upon departure, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, attempts to appoint fifty personalities to the House of Lords, where he has already placed many relatives. Among the new perspectives, precious support for his political future.
“As always with Boris Johnson, he doesn’t do half measures,” comments Thibaud Harrois, professor of Contemporary British Civilization at Sorbonne-Nouvelle University. While he is due to officially resign on Tuesday 6 September, the British Prime Minister plans to appoint some fifty new lords to the upper house of the British parliament in the coming weeks.
Nothing surprising, a priori, since it only follows a tradition that wants each Prime Minister to propose a list of gentlemen upon departure. But no one had ever dared to designate so many.
Not to mention, Boris Johnson has already brought 86 new peers to Westminster in his three-year term. With this streak of nominations, he already fills 10% of the current room by himself. Among this series of gentlemen are relatives, such as his brother Jo Johnson, his former head of the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, or even controversial characters, such as the owner of the tabloid Evgeny Lebedev, of Russian origin and the son of a former KGB officer. .
A packed House of Lords
Boris Johnson’s request has a good chance of success. The procedure foresees that the outgoing Prime Minister presents her list to Queen Elizabeth II, who will assign the titles of Lord to the designated and therefore ennobled personalities. “The queen has no choice, except in cases of force majeure,” explains Thibaud Harrois.
Some fifty new peers should therefore push soon to be able to sit on the famous red benches of the House of Lords, which already has about 800 occupants appointed for life. In theory, members are responsible for examining the House of Commons bills and can propose amendments, without preventing their approval. They also have the power to question the government in the form of questions and to set up parliamentary commissions of inquiry.
Knowing that each gentleman costs over £ 300 [380 euros] every day the British taxpayer is present in Westminster, rumors of Boris Johnson’s coup de grace, in the midst of a social crisis, have raised serious concerns.
Instead of addressing the population’s loss of purchasing power, the prime minister is using his last days in office for a last ditch effort to distribute more jobs to kids, Labor Party Vice President Angela Rayner criticized Friday. , in the columns of the Guardian.
A faithful appointed to issue an opinion on the appointments
Worse still, “Boris Johnson is demonstrating sheer arrogance by entrusting his friend with the task of ending clientelism in Parliament,” adds the elected opposition member. In question, the outgoing Prime Minister has offered the post of Lords-Appointment Checkpoint to Harry Mount, author of a bright book about him and former member of the famous Bullingdon club, an Oxford aristocratic boys’ club with a reputation. sulfur, of which Boris Johnson was himself a member.
According to the Guardian, which was able to confirm this information with Downing Street, Harry Mount will take office on September 11 and will be in charge of examining the list of honors proposed by Boris Johnson on the occasion of his resignation.
It is therefore not this follower of Boris Johnson who should oppose the appointment of personalities like Ben Elliot, donor and co-chair of the Conservative Party, whose name would be on the list, also according to The Guardian. “Boris Johnson is one who uses his networks and names people as a reward for their services. And it is also a way for him to continue to influence the House of Lords even when he is no longer in power,” analyzes Thierry Harrois.
Boris Johnson doesn’t even hide it anymore. In 2020, he named billionaire Peter Cruddas, despite advice from the House of Lords Nominating Committee. A few days later, the businessman donated half a million pounds to the Conservative Party.
“In the late 1990s, Tony Blair pioneered the appointment of Lords by the Prime Minister by deciding to eliminate most of the hereditary peers – who have passed the title from father to son. Now a residual number of members remains. inherited from the aristocracy, “explains Thierry Harrois. Today the chamber has about 92 hereditary peers, all men, as well as 26 archbishops and bishops.
Sometimes derided for its aging composition – the dean of lords is 97 years old – and for its members who are very detached from social realities, the upper house of the British parliament nevertheless has a role to play. “Some don’t take their role seriously and never sit down. But most do the job,” said Thierry Harrois. “Some gentlemen have a rare competence, because they have had a long and distinguished career in the economic, social, scientific fields … They make the nation benefit from this competence by writing rich reports of analysis of the laws”.