Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Will Blair have a "Lavender List"?

With the re-arrest yesterday of Lord Levy, and talk of further re-arrests int he coming day, it seems increasingly likely that someone will face some sort of charge of the Cash for Peerages affairs. At the same time it is received wisdom that when that does finally happen Blair will have no choice to resign - assuming he has not done so already.

The strange thing of course is whenevr he does resign he will have the power of patronage to appoint Peers in his "resignation honours list" without going to the Lords Appointment Commission if he chooses.

As it stands, this power of patronage does not yet appear to be curtailed in anyway, and on the basis of Blair's own responses to questioning he appears to have every intention of using it, thus leaving his very own "Lavender List" as it were.

Yesterday, Labour backbencher, Gordon Prentice, asked him for the second time whether he would "make it his policy to submit his resignation honours list to the House of Lords Appointments Commission for (a) advice and (b) approval."

Blair referred Prentice back to his first reply last June where he said "[t]he House of Lords Appointments Commission will continue to scrutinise any names put to them as appropriate, in the usual way."

Whilst this might sound like a "yes", even the Select Committee on Public Administration noted how it was "unnecessarily equivocal" and a "vague assurance". Perhaps those millionaires who lent all the money may yet get to the Lords anyway, as Blair flips us all two fingers as he leaves the stage?

2 comments:

Theo Spark said...

This what I have been calling the Honours for Directorships scandal. Soon to be on a blog near you.

Shutter said...

42 year old pert, petite, pretty ex school M'am,a socialist in sensible shoes, Sally Morgan (who sends her children to private school) became Baroness Morgan of Huyton in 2001 - she was not vetted - ie the Lords Appointment Commission did not scrutinise her appointment.

She is now a Board Member of the Olympic delivery Authority and a Director of the Carphone Warehouse Group plc. November 2005 and Southern Cross Healthcare Group plc. June 2006.

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/notes/snpc-02855.pdf

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the conferment of a peerage on baroness Morgan of Huyton was approved
by the Appointments Commission; and, if not, why when and by whom it was decided
not to seek the Commission's approval.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government have always made it clear that in
relation to party political peers, the Appointments Commission was taking over the
role formerly fulfilled by the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee. It was never the
custom that appointments to the Lords to enable someone to take up ministerial office
should be subject to scrutiny by that committee.

........The
appointment of party political peers is also still a matter for the Prime Minister, in consultation
with other party leaders.