Liz Truss’s honours list a ‘slap in the face’

todayDecember 30, 2023 12

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Liz Truss’s honours list a ‘slap in the face’

Kwasi Kwarteng, Therese Coffey and the rest of Liz Truss’s cabinet have missed out on getting gongs or places in the House of Lords as part of her resignation honours list.

There has been sizeable speculation about who the UK’s shortest-serving prime minister would choose to elevate to the upper house or make a knight or dame.

But none of her top ministerial team, nor those who were credited with her tenure’s disastrous mini-budget, are included on the list agreed with Downing Street.

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But she has conferred honours on eight people – including political allies and former advisers – and elevated three people to the House of Lords.

These include Matthew Elliot, the political strategist and former chief executive of Vote Leave being added to the upper house, as well as former Vote Leave chair Jon Moynihan and Ms Truss’s former deputy chief of staff in Number 10 Ruth Porter.

Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price has been made a dame, while fellow Conservative Alec Shelbrooke has been made a knight.

David Hills, the Conservative association chairman for Ms Truss’s North West Norfolk constituency, has been handed an MBE. Back in 2009 he was rumoured to be heading up the so-called “turnip Taliban” which opposed Ms Truss being selected as a Commons candidate due to her having an affair with a married Tory MP, although he later supported her.

It might take a few days to find out how ‘modest’ list was whittled down

Rob Powell Political reporter

Rob Powell

Political correspondent


The biggest surprise in Liz Truss’s resignation honours list may well be who is not on it.

There are no names from the former prime minister’s cabinet.

No Kwasi Kwarteng. No Therese Coffey. No Ranil Jayawardena.

Other free-market economists – and inspirations for Liz Truss’s platform for government – are also not there.

All in all, allies of the former prime minister may have a point when they say this is a “relatively modest list” focussed on long-standing colleagues.

That said, there have been reports that one person fell short of the vetting process and others may have declined the gongs.

As ever, it may take a few days before the full picture emerges of how the initial submission was whittled down.

There is a potential row brewing over the timing of the publication of this honours list though.

Number 10 has decided to release it at the same time as the regular New Year gongs and while MPs are out of Westminster on their Christmas break.

Some may smell an attempt by the government to bury the announcement to try and avoid too much public association between Rishi Sunak and his predecessor’s chaotic time in office.

Friends of Liz Truss are somewhat perplexed as to why it has taken until Christmas to put the names out, given they were submitted in March.

Not for the first time this year, the honours of a prime minister from the past could have a political impact on the present.

Ms Truss said of her list: “I am delighted these champions for the conservative causes of freedom, limited government and a proud and sovereign Britain have been suitably honoured.”

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jonathan Ashworth, said: “This list is proof positive of Rishi Sunak’s weakness and a slap in the face to working people who are paying the price of the Tories crashing the economy.

“Honours should be for those committed to public service, not rewards for Tory failure. Rather than apologise for crashing the economy and driving up mortgages rates, costing families thousands, Rishi Sunak has nodded through these tarnished gongs because he is too weak to lead a Tory party completely out of touch with working people.”

The Liberal Democrat’s deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “This shameless move to reward Liz Truss’s car crash cronies is matched only by Sunak’s weakness in failing to block it.”

A Downing Street source said it was “long-standing convention” for former prime ministers to issue honours lists – and it is also convention that “the incumbent prime minister does not block the political peerage proposals of others”.

Read more:
Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list in full
What is the honours system and what are the perks?

Who will be added to the House of Lords?

• Matthew Elliott

PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Matthew Elliott. Picture date: Sunday June 19, 2016. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Matthew Elliott

Matthew Elliott is most well known as the former chief executive of Vote Leave, the pro-Brexit campaign group.
He also founded the low tax thinktank the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

According to his LinkedIn page, Mr Elliot is currently a non-executive director at the Latis group housing developer, as well as being a senior political adviser at Shore Capita, a senior adviser at the communications consultancy MHP Group, and president of The Jobs Foundation.

• Jon Moynihan

Jon Moynihan speaking during the 2016 British Chambers of Commerce's Annual Conference at the QE2 Conference Centre in London.

Jon Moynihan

Jon Moynihan is a Conservative Party donor who has given hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Tories since 2001, according to the Electoral Commission.

Since 2019, he has given £53,000 to Ms Truss alone.

He has been described as a “businessman and venture capitalist”, having worked as chief executive of the PA Consulting Group.

Mr Moynihan chaired the Vote Leave finance committee, and was also appointed to the board of trustees of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

• Ruth Porter

Ruth Porter, who worked for Liz Truss in Downing Street

Ruth Porter

Ruth Porter was a key aide of Ms Truss.

Ms Porter served as deputy chief of staff in Number 10 during the ill-fated stretch in Downing Street.

She has since returned to the job she held before as a managing director at strategic advisory company FGS Global.

She had previously worked as an adviser to Ms Truss when she was environment secretary, and worked on her leadership campaign.

Who has been made a dame or a knight?

• Shirley Conran

Author Shirley Conran, the former wife of Terence Conran and President of the WorkLife Balance Trust, after receiving an OBE for services to equal opportunities from the Prince of Wales.

Shirley Conran in 2004

Shirley Conran, an author and former journalist, has been made a dame for her work on maths education.

She also donated £5,000 to Ms Truss since 2019, according to Sky News’ Westminster Accounts.

As well as her work in media, Ms Conran founded the Maths Anxiety Trust, which aims to help people who struggle with numbers due to anxiety over the subject.

She has written a free eBook – Money Stuff – which aims to teach girls maths without a teacher.

• Jackie Doyle-Price

Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price. Pic: House of Commons

Jackie Doyle-Price. Pic: House of Commons

Jackie Doyle-Price has been the MP for Thurrock, Essex, since 2010.

She was a member of governments under David Cameron and Theresa May, and served as construction minister in the Truss administration.

It was for this work that she was made a dame.

• Alec Shelbrooke

Defence Procurement minister Alec Shelbrooke during a visit to Faslane naval base in Scotland. Picture date: Wednesday October 12, 2022.

Alec Shelbrooke

Alec Shelbrooke has been the Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell in West Yorkshire since 2010. Both he and Ms Doyle-Price joined parliament at the same time as Ms Truss.

He has been knighted for “public and political service as minister of state for defence procurement”, the role he held for less than two months under the Truss administration.

Who has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

• Sophie Jarvis

Sophie Jarvis was an adviser to Ms Truss during her time as trade secretary and foreign secretary, and also worked in Downing Street.

• Shabbir Merali

Shabbir Merali was an economic adviser to Ms Truss during her time as a Treasury minister, as well as in her trade and foreign roles and in Downing Street.

Who was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

• Robert Butler

Robert Butler is the MP for Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, and worked as Ms Truss’s parliamentary private secretary in the Foreign Office.

• Suzanne Webb

Suzanne Webb is the MP for Stourbridge in the West Midlands, and worked as parliamentary private secretary for Ms Truss in the Department for International Trade and in Downing Street.

Who has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

• David Hills

David Hills is the Conservative association chairman for Ms Truss’s South West Norfolk constituency.

Who missed out?

Mr Kwarteng had to defend his U-turn during his speech

Kwasi Kwarteng

• Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng was chancellor under Liz Truss, and delivered the ill-fated mini-budget which ultimately sunk the pair’s time in Downing Street.

Mr Kwarteng had to U-turn on the pair’s pledge to axe the top band of income tax in the middle of the Conservative Party conference. He later found out he had been sacked as chancellor from a tweet from The Times.

He had been a long-term ally of Ms Truss, having co-authored the Britannia Unchained pamphlet in 2012.

• Mark Littlewood

Mark Littlewood is the director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, a free market thinktank.

He was a proponent of “Trussonomics”, and backed the former prime minister’s mini-budget which caused economic upheaval and precipitated the collapse of Ms Truss’s administration.

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September: Was Liz Truss to blame?

• Jason Stein

Jason Stein was an adviser to Liz Truss during her time in the House of Commons, and also helped run her campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party.

Mr Stein was suspended during his time working in Downing Street following reports he negatively briefed against former cabinet ministers.

• Ranil Jayawardena

Ranil Jayawardena was a vocal supporter of Liz Truss in the race to replace Boris Johnson, and served as her environment secretary once she became prime minister.

He had previously been a junior minister in the Department for International Trade, and deputy chair of the Conservative Party.


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• Therese Coffey

Therese Coffey was one of Liz Truss’s closest political allies, and even chaired her campaign as she ran to be party leader.

And once in power, Ms Truss made Ms Coffey her deputy prime minister, as well as the secretary of state for health and social care.

• Mark Fullbrook

Mark Fullbrook was Liz Truss’s chief of staff during her time in Downing Street,

Mr Fullbrook was at the centre of controversy during his time in Number 10 after it was revealed he was being paid through a lobbying firm and not as a government employee.

Written by: Newsroom

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