Saturday 10 December 2016

Storm over honours list of departing PM Cameron​

Kate McCann

Published 02/08/2016 | 02:30

Samantha Cameron: her stylist was on the honours list. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Samantha Cameron: her stylist was on the honours list. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Former British prime minister David Cameron has sparked a furious row within the Conservative Party and has been accused of "devaluing the honours system" by rewarding his No 10 colleagues and his wife Samantha's stylist in his resignation honours list.

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Senior Tory MPs reacted with anger at Mr Cameron's decision to put his staff forward for the privileges as he was accused of "cronyism".

A list published by the 'Sunday Times' detailed Mr Cameron's request for honours to be bestowed on 48 advisers and Remain campaigners, including two major donors who helped fund the case to stay in the European Union to the tune of more than £650,000 (€770,000).

Donors

Isabel Spearman, who served as stylist to Mrs Cameron during her time in No 10, and two of Mr Cameron's former drivers will be handed awards, as will Will Straw, the son of Labour heavyweight Jack Straw and leader of the unsuccessful Remain campaign.

A senior minister who asked not to be named said on Sunday night that Mr Cameron's list would provoke anger among backbench MPs and Leave-supporting Conservative members.

Andy Burnham, the shadow home secretary, said that if the list was accepted it "will destroy any remaining shred of respect for the honours system".

Staff and advisers for both Mr Cameron and the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne have been included on the list, leading to claims that the former prime minister has sought to reward personal friends in an abuse of the honours system.

Mr Cameron previously gave his hairdresser an MBE for "services to hairdressing" in the 2014 New Year's honours list.

One Tory MP said Mr Cameron appeared to be sprinkling the highest awards in the land around "like confetti". Andrew Rosindell said staff were being rewarded simply for doing "the jobs they were paid for".

Mr Cameron has also secured additional severance pay for his closest aides following his decision to resign as prime minister earlier this year after the Brexit vote.

However, Mr Cameron found some support among former Cabinet colleagues. Anna Soubry and Sir Eric Pickles said he was entitled to reward those staff who had helped him in Downing Street.

Irish Independent

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