Mon, 26 February 2024

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Theresa May under fire over plans to 'give peerage to chief of staff Gavin Barwell'

2 min read

Theresa May has come under fire after reportedly putting forward her former chief of staff Gavin Barwell for a peerage.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mrs May is believed to have included the former Croydon Central MP in her resignation honours list alongside around 14 other nominees.

But the move has infurated Tory Brexiteers who had repeatedly criticised Mr Barwell for backing the former Prime Minister's softer Brexit stance.

Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith previously branded Mr Barwell a "very strong supporter of Remain", adding: "[He] was even notoriously tweeting the day after the referendum that he was 'proud that my home town and the great city of which it is part rejected the politics of hate and division yesterday'."

In November, the senior adviser had begged Labour MPs to vote for Mrs May's Brexit deal after it was clear she could not win sufficient from her own party, asking them to admire her "tenacity" in securing a deal with the bloc.

One former adviser to Mrs May told the paper: "If she gives her failed MP chief of staff a peerage then any shred of decency will have gone."

But an ally of Mr Barwell said: "The contribution he has made to the Government over the last two years and the experience and ability that he could bring to the House of Lords make him an ideal candidate for a peerage if that was to come about."

Earlier this month Mrs May was praised for her "restraint" by an official parliamentary committee involved in plans to reduce the size of the House of Lords.

"We are grateful for the support of the outgoing Prime Minister and in particualr the restraint which she showed in making new appointments to the House," the Lords Speaker's Committee said.

"It is our hope that any resignation list of new peerages will be modest in size."

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