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Friday, February 07, 2020

Cronyism allegations and the House of Lords

Surely it is time that the House of Lords was abolished and replaced with a wholly-elected second chamber of the nations and regions? I raise this issue once more because we are due shortly to have the dissolution honours list in front of us, and already there are allegations of cronyism.

The Independent reports that Boris Johnson is poised to hand a peerage to a billionaire Conservative party donor and Brexit backer.

They say that Peter Cruddas, one of the City’s richest men, is on a list of nominees for the controversial dissolution honours to be handed out this month:

A self-made businessman, Mr Cruddas was one of the founders of the Vote Leave campaign, gave it £1.5m for the 2016 referendum – and has also donated more than £3.5m to the Tories.

He was among the major donors to Mr Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign last year, telling one interviewer: “I’m going to give him some money and back him.”

Mr Cruddas is a former party treasurer, as is Michael Spencer – a second billionaire Conservative donor expected to be handed a seat in the House of Lords.

They add that Jeremy Corbyn’s list of nominees is also controversial because it is thought to include his chief of staff Karie Murphy, despite her role in the handling of Labour’s antisemitism scandal – which is still under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Are we really still governing by patronage? Is this the nineteenth century? A modern democracy demands open, accountable and transparent governance. The House of Lords both in the way it is appointed and the way it operates is the very anti-thesis of that requirement.
Unfortunately we are sinking back into the 19th Century. Slow sneaking backwards with Cummings at the helm .Remember ,although he looks a scruff he has aristocratic background with a relative owning Chillingham castle in Northumbria. Democracy is not his strong point which he,and others, wish to destroy for their benefit.
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