Boris Johnson has drawn fresh accusations of nepotism after selecting an author of a book on his “intelligence and wisdom” to help oversee the appointment of new peers in House of Lords.
Journalist Harry Mount, former Bullingdon Club Fellow and author The intelligence and wisdom of Boris JohnsonHe will take over the role of the House of Lords Nominations Committee from 11 September. The body is responsible for screening all nominations to the House of Lords. This would include all Johnson requests to grant nobles as part of his resignation list honors.
Independent members are appointed for a non-renewable five-year term. The government said the role was widely publicized.
Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said: “This is a display of pure arrogance Boris JohnsonAnd put his prominent ally in charge of stopping nepotism in Parliament. Instead of tackling the cost of living crisis facing the public, the prime minister is using his last days in office in a last-ditch effort to distribute more jobs to the boys.
“Far from promising long-overdue change, the Conservative Party’s continuity candidates offer more of the same sense of corruption and self-interest that has defined their government for years.”
Downing Street confirmed Mount’s appointment last Friday to Johnson for the position. He is scheduled to officially resign from the premiership next Tuesday after the announcement of the results of the Conservative Party leadership elections on Monday.
Like Johnson, Mount was a member of the all-male Bullingdon Club during his time at Oxford. Mount began writing for Spectator in 2002 under Johnson’s editorship. He also writes a column for the Daily Telegraph for Johnson’s former employers. He is now editing Oldie Magazine.
Mount’s father is Ferdinand Mount, who was an advisor to Margaret Thatcher. He is also a second cousin to David Cameron, a former member of the Bullingdon Club.
2007 article about Mount Inn New Yorker “At Oxford,” he said, “Mount was chosen for the exclusive Bullingdon Club; he has a bad reputation for being rolled down a hill in a portable toilet. It was like stepping out of Dracula’s coffin in a restaurant near the Met.”
Johnson has already been criticized for introducing Conservative donors to the honor roll of his resignation. It is said that the names he gave to the nobles include Tory benefactor and co-chair Ben Elliott, who had business connections to Russian money.
Elliott, who was also appointed by Johnson to the Victoria and Albert board of directors, received Tory donations from Lubov Chernokhin, the wife of former finance minister Vladimir Putin, and Akind, a billionaire-owned business. Victor Fedotov.
Other names on the resignations list are believed to include former Daily Mail editor Paul Ducker, whom Johnson tried to appoint as head of media regulator Ofcom.
Cabinet Office Minister Nicholas True said: “I would like to congratulate Harry Mount on his appointment as an Independent Member House of Lords Appointments Committee.
“Harry Mount brings so much experience from his career, he has a lot to bring to the House of Lords Appointments Committee and I wish him well in his role.”
Johnson also appointed Acting Chief of Staff, Baroness Simon Finn, to the Committee on Standards in Public Life, as a Conservative political appointee to the committee.
The Ethics Committee, chaired by former MI5 chief Lord Jonathan Evans, says it is “advising the Prime Minister on arrangements to uphold ethical standards of conduct in public life in England”.
Evans criticized Johnson in June for only partially accepting the committee’s recommendations to strengthen the role of the independent counsel on ministers’ interests, telling MPs in January that “there is at least a neglect among the people in government on issues of standards, and perhaps more than that”.
Finn became Johnson’s deputy chief of staff in February 2021, transitioning from a position of non-executive director in the Cabinet Office, where she was appointed by Michael Gove in May 2020.
The Sunday Times reported that Finn hosted Carrie Johnson’s 30th birthday party in March 2018 at her home in North London.
She will join the Committee from November 21, 2022 for a three-year renewable term.