Watchdog urged to stop Boris Johnson using honours to win back Partygate rebels

Boris Johnson must be barred from having a resignation honours list, to prevent him using the promise of gongs to persuade Tory MPs to back him over Partygate, honours watchdogs have been told.

Liberal Democrats have written letters – seen by The Independent – to the chairs of the bodies which vet nominations for honours and peerages, urging them to declare they will reject any list put forward by Mr Johnson when he leaves office.

Without this assurance, a “desperate” prime minister can be expected to take advantage of the system in his bid to cling to power, said the party’s chief whip Wendy Chamberlain.

Ms Chamberlain wrote to the chairs of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and the Cabinet Office Honours Committee following unconfirmed reports that the PM had offered knighthoods and peerages to Tory MPs who hold back from submitting letters of no confidence in his leadership.

Premiers are traditionally permitted to issue resignation honours lists on departure from office, though not all have done so.

The Honours Committee and Appointments Commission are able to block nominations deemed to be inappropriate, and are believed to have struck several names from the list submitted by David Cameron in 2016.

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