PMQs again see Rishi Sunak pushed on the state of Johnson's resignation honours list and why he is allowing Johnson's nominations to the Lord's to go forward.


Meg Hillier - Does the Prime Minister believe that the reward for being a law breaker should be to be made a lawmaker?

Rishi Sunak - There's a well established process.

Declining to answer the question, Sunak said that he was following the established process. Suggesting he does not have the freedom to remove any given individual.

Has a Prime Minister ever removed someone from an Honours list after the list had passed the Honours Committee? Under the 'well established process' whatever that might be?

I'm honestly not clear what the procedure and process is beyond a list is submitted in this case by Johnson, but in other case by several people (for example Corbyn put John Bercow forwards) it is vetted by the Honours committee (and others?) And then sent in to the PM and Sovereign (for notice? Final checks?).

It is clear that not everyone nominated gets a peerage as the linked article makes clear two of Corbyn's nominations were turned down, though by who and at what stage escapes me.

Sunak's position is that there is a well established process and he has followed it. But clearly that process does allow for changes, so what is the process and does following it prevent stopping some of Johnson's nominations.

  • 3
    Could you spell out a bit what an Honours list involves, and what the usual process in the absence of exceptional circumstances would be, for those not familiar with this element of the British political process? Also re "PMQs" please spell out acronyms the first time they appear. Most three and four letter combinations have multiple meanings.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 21, 2023 at 19:43
  • @ohwilleke I think describing the normal process and how or whether the current events have deviated from the process would be a good answer
    – pjc50
    Jun 22, 2023 at 8:35
  • 1
    The modern Honours Committee only dates to 2005; before then the procedure was a lot more secretive and informal, so it might be impossible to know if someone was removed. Even post 2005, it's not clear that any removal would be officially announced, so this question may depend on gossip and rumor, although there may be well-sourced answers.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 22, 2023 at 10:53
  • 1
    Are you only looking for lists produced under the current system? Wilson's notorious 1976 list was leaked and names removed (e.g. James Goldsmith) as a result; in those days prior to the 2005 reorganisation the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee seems to have pretty much been a rubber stamp, although other factors could lead to a name being removed.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 22, 2023 at 10:55
  • @StuartF I'm interested in the 'well established process' and how that deals with removing people from the lists of honours.
    – Jontia
    Jun 22, 2023 at 20:23


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