Theresa May gives knighthoods to Geoffrey Boycott and key Brexit adviser
PM’s resignation honours list includes EU negotiator Olly Robbins plus aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who both quit after her 2017 poll disaster
Theresa May has recognised key political aides as well as her sporting hero Geoffrey Boycott in her resignation honours list.
The former prime minister’s chief EU negotiator Olly Robbins – blamed by many Tory MPs for her three times rejected Brexit deal – receives a knighthood.
Her controversial former joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill – who were forced to quit No 10 in the wake of the 2017 general election debacle – are made CBEs.
Boycott, along with former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, both receive knighthoods for services to sport.
In other appointments, Sir Kim Darroch, who was forced to resign as ambassador to the United States after falling out with the Trump administration, is made a life peer. He will sit as a non-party crossbencher.
Tory Party treasurer Ehud Sheleg, who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to Conservative coffers, receives a knighthood.
There is likely to be anger among some Tory MPs at the honours for figures they regard as responsible for Mrs May’s failed Brexit strategy.
Gavin Barwell – who succeeded Mr Timothy and Ms Hill as her chief of staff – becomes a life peer while David Lidington, seen as her de facto deputy, and ex-Number 10 communications chief Robbie Gibb are knighted.
Former chief whip Julian Smith – who has since been made Northern Ireland Secretary by Boris Johnson – is made a CBE.
Another close ally, the former trade minister George Hollingbery – who served as Mrs May’s parliamentary private secretary in both Downing Street and the Home Office – receives a knighthood.
Mrs May’s former political secretary Stephen Parkinson and special advisers Joanna Penn and Elizabeth Sanderson are to become life peers.
There are CBEs for the former Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis, No 10 political aides Paul Harrison and Kirsty Buchanan, as well as Mrs May’s official spokesman, James Slack, who continues in the same role with Mr Johnson.
The former joint acting chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 committee Charles Walker is knighted while ex-party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin is upgraded to a Companion of Honour.
Jeremy Corbyn has nominated three new Labour life peers – ex-National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower, Newport City Council leader Debbie Wilcox, and the employment rights lawyer John Hendy QC.
MP John Mann, who announced at the weekend he was quitting Labour to become a government anti-Semitism “tsar” has been nominated for for a non-affiliated life peerage while the Green Party have nominated former leader Natalie Bennett for a peerage.
In other appointments, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick becomes a dame while Lady Justice Hallett, the vice president of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division becomes a life peer.
Sir Simon Woolley, the founder of operation Black Vote, and Ruth Hunt, the ex-chief executive of Stonewall, are made crossbench life peers.
A source close to Mrs May said: “This list recognises the many different people who have made a significant contribution to public life during Theresa May’s political career.
“It includes not only political colleagues but members of the civil service, civic society, the NHS and the sporting world. It also recognises people from all four nations of the United Kingdom.”
The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, said May’s list was “substantially smaller” than those drawn up by predecessors, helping to reduce the size of the House of Lords.
“I hope that the current Prime Minister continues this policy of restraint,” he added.
Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: “It comes as no surprise that big Tory donors and Number 10 cronies are being honoured yet again.
“The Tories only care about looking after their own and will only stand up for the wealthy few who fund them.”