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Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke 'in line for peerages' despite defying Boris Johnson on Brexit

2 min read

Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke have both been nominated for peerages by Boris Johnson despite the pair being kicked out of the Conservative Party for opposing him on Brexit, it has emerged.

The BBC reports that the two former Chancellors, who had the Tory whip withdrawn last year after backing Commons moves to halt a no-deal Brexit, are in line for a place in the House of Lords.

Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson - another frequent critic of the Prime Minister - is also on the latest Downing Street honours list.

Meanwhile former Labour MPs Iain Austin and John Woodcock, who both quit the party after repeatedly blasting Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, will reportedly be nominated to sit as non-aligned peers.

The move by Mr Johnson to hand peerages to Mr Hammond and Mr Clarke is a major shock, given their previous criticisms of his leadership.

They were part of a rebel group of 21 Tories who backed a motion paving the way for  legislation which helped delay the UK's exit date from the EU.

Tory grandee Mr Clarke, who served in the Cabinet under  John Major and David Cameron, stepped down as an MP at the election, and has since accused the Prime Minister of dealing in "generalities" on Brexit.

Mr Hammond, Theresa May's Chancellor for her three-year stint in office, considered standing as an independent candidate, but said he could not "embark on a course of action that would represent a direct challenge in a general election to the party I have supported all my adult life".

However, in a letter to his constituents, Mr Hammond said he felt "aggrieved" at his treatment by the Prime Minister.

"The Conservative Party that I have served has always had room for a wide range of opinions and has been tolerant of measured dissent," he added.

"Many parliamentary colleagues have defied the party whip on occasions without any action taken against them."

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