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Voices: Who could make Boris Johnson’s resignation list of (dis)honours?

You would think that having to be almost forcibly removed from the office of prime minister would have left Boris Johnson with a rather shorter-than-average list of people to thank. But you would, inevitably, be wrong.

It is being whispered around Westminster, and in The Times newspaper, that the ex- (for the time being) prime minister has a resignation honours list of over a hundred names. That, for the record, is an average of one gong per 10 days in office.

Theresa May, whose term was mere days shorter, dared just 40 names in hers (though she had her own reasons: having once joked that seeing David Cameron’s own resignation honours list had made her “retch violently”, she probably knew that once she’d knighted her own husband she’d probably have to leave it there).

At least Johnson has been wise enough to exist for some time in a realm beyond shame, thus sparing himself any of that kind of agonising hypocrisy.

And it’s not all his fault. Johnson, you will surely recall, was badly let down by a very large number of successive teams of advisers, so he’s simply got a lot more thank yous to get through than most. When your Downing Street operation has to be rebooted more often than a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, who can possibly complain when the great man finds himself with so very many people who simply must be rewarded for all they do?

Johnson, after all, had four chiefs of staff, only one of whom openly hates him and dedicated almost two full years of his life to a staggeringly successful campaign to destroy him. No, we must assume Baron Cummings of Barnard Castle does not feature. Whether his other chief of staff, Eddie Lister, gets a mention, we shall have to wait and see. But it can’t be ignored that he’s already had a peerage out of Boris Johnson, almost two years ago.

So who else could feature?

Dame Allegra Stratton - Still the only person to actually resign explicitly over the very large numbers of illegal parties in Downing Street that she didn’t actually attend. But what’s worse? Going to “the least socially distanced party in the UK right now” – as Johnson is reported to have described a party he simultaneously denies ever having attended? Or simply pissing oneself laughing while trying to come up with a way of defending it? Those tears on the doorstep took the heat off Johnson for at least half an hour, so it’d be nice if there were some sort of payback.

Returning to the legislature would perhaps be an obstacle to Ms Stratton’s new life as a newsletter writer at Bloomberg. But then again, perhaps it wouldn’t. It’s nice, these days, to just sort of flit between being bezzie mates power and then holding it to account, isn’t it? Nice work if you can get it.

King Brownlow - Ordinarily, the chap who kept offering to pay for the two-hundred-grand flat refurb but was ultimately thwarted in his noble quest by various anti-corruption laws would just be given a job for life in the House of Lords. But as he’s already got one, it will have to be straight to the throne for the man described on Wikipedia as a “philanthropist citation needed”.

Yes, arguably the most remarkable aspect of his neverending generosity toward the Johnson family – well, one of the Johnson families – is that he had already been raised to the rank of nobility by Theresa May for the £2m he’d already handed over to the Tory party.

It might seem an unusual appointment, but with his self-evident taste for absurd home furnishing made from solid gold with his own actual money, he’s clearly the modernising force the country needs.

Anonymous Butler OBE - Once a week, it was someone’s actual job to secretly squirrel four figures worth of luxury organic groceries through the Downing Street back door and up to the golden wallpapered flat, where it would ideally be eaten before there was time to declare that it had been generously sent over by Lord Bamford of JCB fame. It was reported at the time that there was so much stuff that a special trolley was routinely required. Somebody actually did that. They deserve the nation’s thanks.

Lord Bamford, Order of Merit - Elevation to the very highest level of the nobility is usually only done at the invitation of the sovereign and is reserved for the most illustrious high achievers in highest society. Current members include Sir David Attenborough, Sir Tom Stoppard and Sir Simon Rattle. But who among them can boast of ever having stumped up the cash to pay for the wedding reception of a sitting prime minister who, aged just 58 at the time, can hardly have been expected to have cobbled together the funds himself.

Dame Carrie Johnson - Given that handing titles to one’s spouse is now a time-honoured practice, it would be almost rude for Boris to not continue the custom. As a sitting member of the House of Lords, Carrie would at least be able to submit most of her taxi receipts to the taxpayer, and though she continues to deny that she left her job at Conservative Central Office over large numbers of dubious cab receipts, it would be a relief for all concerned that no such confusion could ever happen again – not least as a peerage is a job you cannot leave. And who can say she doesn’t deserve some kind of lifetime role in Westminster, after her time in Downing Street was so brutally cut short?