Liz Truss criticised for ‘stunning lack of humility’ over reported peerage plans
Liz Truss has been accused of showing a “stunning lack of humility” following reports that she plans in effect to create a peer for every 10 days she spent in office.
The former prime minister is reported to have nominated at least four new members of the House of Lords, despite being forced from office after only 49 days, following a disastrous mini-budget.
The names on her resignation honours list include a Conservative donor and a former long-time aide, according to the Sun. The newspaper reported that the list included Mark Littlewood, the director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, who lavished praise on her budget – which damaged the UK’s reputation across the world and wreaked havoc on the financial markets.
Related: Liz Truss requests peerages for some of her closest Tory supporters
At the time Littlewood said it was not “a trickle-down budget, it’s a boost-up budget”, later saying he was “pretty distraught” when Jeremy Hunt shredded the economic plans in one of the most astonishing U-turns in modern political history.
Truss also reportedly wants to give peerages to Matthew Elliott, the former Vote Leave chief executive who helped found the TaxPayers’ Alliance group, which campaigns for lower taxes. Ruth Porter, her former deputy chief of staff, and Jon Moynihan, a Conservative donor and businessman, are also thought to be on the list.
The register of MPs’ financial interests shows Moynihan gave £50,000 in two separate donations to Truss’s Tory leadership campaign.
Wendy Chamberlain, the Liberal Democrats’ chief whip, described the move as “truly remarkable”, adding: “Rishi Sunak must block these honours immediately as allowing Truss to dish out positions of influence shows a stunning lack of humility.”
The deputy Labour leader, Angela Rayner, called it a “list of shame” after Truss “and her Conservative co-conspirators” had taken a “wrecking ball to the economy”.
It comes after Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list was said to include his father, prompting accusations the former prime minister had discredited the honours system.
Bill Esterson, the shadow minister for business and industry, said if Sunak approved the “so-called resignation honours lists of Liz Truss and Boris Johnson”, he would be “rewarding failure”, tweeting: “Remember he [Sunak] was Johnson’s chancellor, and it was 13 years of Conservative government, not just the 49 days of Truss/Kwarteng, that crashed the economy.”
Since Truss left office, there have been rumours about the names on her potential list and suggestions that she may want to elevate her close friend and pick for chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, whom she sacked over the mini-budget fiasco. Friends of Kwarteng have denied that he would want a peerage, saying that he wants to remain an MP.