For the past few weeks there have been reports circulating that David Cameron’s resignation honours list has been held up over ‘ethical concerns’ regarding his nominees. Today the Sunday Times offer a glimpse as to why this may be by publishing the ‘leaked list‘ on its front page.
It does not make for an inspiring read. Although David Cameron was criticised for awarding Sir Lynton Crosby a knighthood for ‘services to politics’ in the new year honours, at least Crosby actually won an election. The same cannot be said for the majority of the Remain campaigners, donors and aides who allegedly make up the bulk of the roll call.
Among the Remain foot soldiers who have been put forward for an honour, knighthoods have been requested for Ian Taylor, a businessman who donated £350,000 to the campaign, and Andrew Cook, who put in £300,000. Those with less deep pockets have also been given a look in. Remain cabinet members Philip Hammond, Michael Fallon, David Lidington and Patrick McLoughlin are all nominated for knighthoods. In fact, when it comes to the In crowd, even the man responsible for the failed campaign — Will Straw — gets a mention. Straw, the son of Labour grandee Jack Straw, has been nominated for a CBE.
Given that this is the same Prime Minister who awarded his barber an MBE in 2014 for ‘services to hairdressing’, his staff are heavily mentioned. Cameron has nominated 20 SpAds from his government, including his wife’s stylist Isabel Spearman, who is nominated for an OBE. Two of the former PM’s drivers have also made it onto the list. The paper even quote a source voicing their surprise that Larry the cat hasn’t made the cut given the number of staff who have.
While Cameron is tipped to make his No 1 Remain-er George Osborne a companion of honour, there is little that’s honourable about this list. Such blatant cronyism only goes to make Cameron’s legacy one of ‘favours for the boys’ rather than the social change agenda he so craves.