Boris Johnson is expected to mark his first anniversary as Prime Minister by rewarding “Brexit loyalists”, including Sir Ian Botham, with peerages. The England cricketer and avid Brexiteer is one of about 30 new peers to be announced this month. SNP MP Pete Wishart railed against the report on Sky News, and pointed to the lack of award still for John Bercow as an injustice.
The former Speaker of the House was the first in his role to not be offered a peerage in 230 years, a snub which was seen widely as a revenge for his apparent favouring of Remainers.
Mr Wishart said: “This is just the most absurd and ridiculous political institution anywhere in the world.
“We’re going to be having a whole raft of Brexiteers appointed by the PM to have a part in our legislature.
“These people can now make laws, make amendments and initiate legislation. What’s his qualification? He’s a cricketer who supported Brexit. It’s absolutely absurd.”
SNP MP Pete Wishart
‘This is just the most absurd and ridiculous political institution anywhere in the world.’
He continued: “Let’s look at two candidates for the House of Lords: Ian Botham, Brexiteer and cricketer, and John Bercow, former Speaker of the House of Commons with something like 25 years politicial experience.
“I’d ask your listeners: who is more qualified to have a role in deciding the laws of this country? Who is more qualified?
“But it’s not up to anybody to decide that, it’s should be up to an electorate. It’s actually up to the PM now.
“He will appint his donors, his cronies, his friends. Those people that he owes favours to. It has to stop, enough is enough.”
‘But it’s not up to anybody to decide that, it’s should be up to an electorate.’
The Sky hos pointed out that there are some prominent Remainers on the list too, including some people who were actively causing trouble for the PM.
Former senior Tories Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond, as well as current MP Ed Vaizey, are all on the list.
Mr Wishart insisted that he didn’t care so much who the people were as it was about the unelected aspect of the House of Lords.
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Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was believed to have considered nominating John Bercow for a place in the House of Lords as part of his dissolutions honours list.
However the suggestion sparked major backlash and anger amongst Brexiteers.
Former Black Rod, Lieutenant General David Leakey, warned in January that it wasn’t a “good idea” to install Mr Bercow in the chamber.
He claimed that the ex-Speaker had been “discredited for his conduct” in the House of Commons.
He has always denied there has been any bullying or intimidation in his office and no legal case has ever been mounted against him.