John Bercow SNUBBED: Humiliation for former Speaker as peerage slips away
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Former Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn’s ex-chief Karie Murphy will also be formally snubbed for peerages this week when the Dissolution Honours are published, they said. This comes despite the trio being nominated for former Labour leader Mr Corbyn. Whitehall sources say they have been dropped from the final list following concerns raised by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, known as Holac.
Former Conservative Party treasurer Peter Cruddas has also been left off the list.
The peerages follow the dissolution of parliament last November and have been under consideration by Holac for several months.
The committee is required to vet political nominees for the Lords to ensure “the highest standards of propriety” and the trio have not made the cut, MailOnline reports.
Former House of Commons Speaker Mr Bercow, who served in the position for 10 years, was nominated by Mr Corbyn, despite having formerly being a Conservative MP.
But concerns have been raised about outstanding bullying claims made against him by former Commons officials, which he strenuously denies.
If Mr Bercow is left off the final peerage list, he will become the first House of Commons Speaker in 230 years not to be nominated for the accolade.
Labour’s former deputy leader Mr Watson is thought to have been rejected because of his role in highlighting fantasist Carl Beech’s false allegations of a paedophile ring in Westminster.
This led to dawn raids on the homes of the late military chief Lord Bramall, former Conservative Party Home Secretary Lord Brittan and ex-MP Harvey Proctor.
The peerage for Ms Murphy is thought to have been rejected over concerns about the handling by Labour’s leadership of anti-Semitism complaints under her watch. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
A report on these claims has been completed by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and is due to be published shortly.
But the trio nominated by Mr Corbyn have been replaced by three nominees from current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who are said to be “relatively uncontentious”.
Boris Johnson is expected to nominate former Labour MPs Frank Field, John Woodcock and Ian Austin, who all quit the party in opposition at Mr Corbyn’s leadership. They are likely to sit as Crossbenchers.
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A peerage is also expected to be handed to Gisela Stewart, a fellow former Labour MP and chair of the Vote Leave campaign.
But the huge injection of new peers has sparked fury among campaigners as they desperately attempt to slash the size of the House of Lords.
Lord Speaker Lord Fowler sent an email to peers, warning several years of work to reduce the size of the chamber would be put “back to square one”.
He wrote: “As I write this, we have 792 members.
“Clearly any substantial intake of new members will drive us over 800 – perhaps to somewhere near the figures back in 2016, and further away from our aim of a 600-member house.”
Darren Hughes, of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “This super-sized House needs to cut its crony-intake drastically.
“Instead, the PM looks set on appointing dozens more friends to the bloated house.
“For all the Lords’ protests, there’s nothing they can do about it.”
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