Liz Truss resignation honours would be a reward for failure, campaigner says

It is convention that outgoing prime ministers issue a resignation honours list.

22 October 2022

Any plans for Liz Truss to draw up a resignation honours list – despite only having been Prime Minister for six weeks – would be a “reward for failure”, a reform campaigner says.

Ms Truss announced she was quitting as Conservative Party leader on Thursday after an increasingly turbulent 44 days in office.

It is convention that outgoing prime ministers issue such awards, and the full resignation honours list of her predecessor Boris Johnson -who left the post in July – has not yet been released.

Liz Truss resignation
Liz Truss making her resignation statement outside 10 Downing Street (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Willie Sullivan, of the Electoral Reform Society campaign group, said: “A seat in the House of Lords should not be a reward for failure.

“It’s a lifetime appointment to make our laws, not a gift to be handed out by a prime minister as they head out the door.

“If Liz Truss chooses to pack the Lords with new peers on leaving office, it will only further damage Westminster’s legitimacy at a time when public faith in politics is already stretched to the limit.”

The list raises the possibility that key members of Ms Truss’s campaign could be given knighthoods or peerages, despite her short-lived reign at the top of politics, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Queen’s speech 2019
Members of the House of Lords (Aaron Chown/PA)

There are currently about 800  House of Lords members – and the majority of them are life peers, according to the UK Parliament website.

It is tradition for departing prime ministers to create new life peerages, but as these are often handed to political staff and former advisers, they are rarely without controversy.

Mr Sullivan said: “We’re still waiting for Boris Johnson’s resignation honours to be announced, with a second Truss list added to the pile we could be seeing a bumper batch of appointments filling the already bloated house with even more ex-MPs, donors and political allies.

“We need a smaller, elected House of Lords, where lawmakers are chosen by the people they serve not hand-picked by the prime minister of the day. It’s time to end this farce and deliver the democratic second chamber our country needs.”

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