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Wednesday 10th
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

Committee is to scrutinise Cameron’s cronies list

MPs could get the chance to grill David Cameron over the list of cronies he has nominated for honours and peerages.

The former Tory prime minister, who resigned after the EU referendum, was accused of nepotism when he named pro-EU political allies, financial backers and Downing Street staff on his list to receive gongs.

Public administration and constitutional affairs committee (PAC) chairman Bernard Jenkin said yesterday that he has invited the cross-party group to scrutinise Mr Cameron’s list when Parliament resumes in September.

The Tory MP for Harwich and North Essex will lead the committee in its investigation, which would have the power to summon Mr Cameron as a witness and subject him to a public grilling over his choices.

Mr Cameron recommended 13 peerages.

If awarded, this would push the number of Tory Lords to 207 ­— one more than Labour.

A total of 43 of his allies were awarded honours.

The MPs’ panel recommended in 2012 that a “far higher proportion” of awards should be given to those that “devote time to the local community instead of politicians, civil servants, and celebrities.”

Its report — which recommended that the honours nominations process be independent of the PM — was rejected by the coalition government.

Mr Jenkin said: “Reform of the House of Lords is by far the most important issue arising from this month’s controversy.

“I hope the government will consider this and our previous report seriously.”

Tory Party treasurer Andrew Fraser and political aides Gabrielle Bertin and Camilla Cavendish, who both worked at No 10, have been given peerages.

Knighthoods were dished out to ministers Michael Fallon and Patrick McLoughlin and former ministers Oliver Letwin and Hugo Swire.

Former chancellor George Osborne became a Companion of Honour.

His chief of staff Thea Rogers and her deputy Eleanor Wolfson got OBEs.

His constituency manager Jane Robertson got an MBE.

Tory donor Ian Taylor asked for his name to be withdrawn for a peerage after negative publicity.

A peerage for former Conservative treasurer Michael Spencer was reportedly blocked by an independent advisory committee.

Samantha Cameron’s PA and stylist Isabel Spearman received an OBE, pro-EU campaigner Andrew Cook received a knighthood and director of the failed Stronger In campaign Will Straw was awarded a CBE.