Former Prime Minister Liz Truss is facing calls to abandon her resignation honours list after spending just seven weeks in office. So do you think she should be allowed to hand out honours or would it be an “embarrassment”? Vote in our poll.
Ms Truss is reportedly preparing to hand out political honours to her aides and allies, as is tradition for outgoing Prime Ministers.
It is conventional for former leaders to award peerages to the unelected House of Lords, knighthoods, MBEs and CBEs to reward individuals who made a positive contribution to the country.
Mark Fullbrook, Ms Truss’ chief of staff, reportedly pushed for several advisors to receive honours during her last few days in office but some aides feared a negative backlash and omitted themselves. Jamie Hope, Ms Truss’ policy chief, Matthew Sinclair, her economic adviser and Iain Carter, her director of strategy are among those believed to have been put forward.
However, a source close to Ms Truss told the Times that instead of a full resignation honours list she is expected to recognise a “handful” of “local community heroes” in Norfolk, where her constituency is.
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One source told The Observer that it would be seen as inappropriate by Buckingham Palace to present a long list of honours after a turbulent 50 days in office.
They added: “These things are done in a very British way. I think it will be clear that this would not be right. It will be a case of…you don’t want to embarrass the King, do you?”
The source, with close knowledge of honours protocol, explained: “This situation is completely unprecedented. I am sure a lot of people will be saying to Liz you can have an honours list but it has to be pretty small, not everyone in your office, not what David Cameron did.
“She was a bona fide Prime Minister. She can do it but there will be a lot of pressure on her from the Palace, from the Cabinet Office, saying keep the numbers down, not using it to give out honours to lots of people. Simon Case would be saying, ‘Do it but don’t go mad.’”
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Willie Sullivan of the Electoral Reform Society was against Ms Truss creating a resignation honours list arguing that it would undermine Westminster’s legitimacy.
He said: “A seat in the House of Lords should not be a reward for failure. 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.
“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.”
The House of Lords already has around 800 peers and there are fears of a major influx from the two most recent Prime Ministers. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is yet to submit his resignation honours list after leaving office in the summer. He has appointed 13 new Conservative peerages separately.
So what do YOU think? Should Ms Truss be allowed a resignation honours list? Vote in our poll and join the debate in the comment section below.