Former Northern Ireland first minister Ian Paisley is among over 50 senior figures who have been elevated to the House of Lords.
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott and ex-Tory leader Michael Howard are also included in the roll of honours.
Children's television presenter Floella Benjamin is being made a Liberal Democrat peer, while Sue Nye, a key adviser to Gordon Brown, will join for the Labour Party.
Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair will become a crossbencher, according to an honours list released by Downing Street.
The list includes several dozen working peers nominated to represent each of the main parties, as well as a special Dissolution List to mark the end of the last parliament. Altogether 56 new members of the Lords are being created.
Helen Newlove, who has campaigned against drink-related violence since her husband Garry was beaten to death by a gang in Warrington in 2007, is to become a Tory peer. Former director of public prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald will serve as a Lib Dem peer.
The list of Tory working peers includes Guy Black, a former director of the Press Complaints Commission who also worked as media spokesman for Mr Howard during his time as Conservative leader and is now executive director of the Telegraph Media Group.
Also honoured is Next chief executive Simon Wolfson, who backed David Cameron's campaign for the Tory leadership and has donated almost £300,000 to the party since he became leader.
Mr Wolfson co-chaired the party's economic competitiveness policy review and was a prominent supporter of its plans to reverse Labour's National Insurance rise in the run-up to the election.
The UK's first black Cabinet minister, Paul Boateng, who later served as High Commissioner to South Africa, is made a working peer on the Labour benches.
And he will be joined there by former first minister of Scotland Jack McConnell, ex-TUC general secretary John Monks and Mr Brown's one-time special adviser Wilf Stevenson.