The Good Law Project has launched a legal challenge over Boris Johnson’s decision to make businessman and Conservative Party donor Peter Cruddas a lifetime peer.
Peter Cruddas was nominated to become a member of the House of Lords by Boris Johnson in December 2020, despite the House of Lords Appointments Commission advising against the nomination. It is the first time in history that the independent watchdog’s advice was ignored.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Good Law Project state there was apparent bias in the Prime Minister’s decision to award the peerage to Peter Cruddas, and will argue that the timings of major donations by Peter Cruddas are particularly significant. In January 2020, one month before it became public knowledge that he was to be nominated for a peerage, he made a £250,000 donation.
Three days after he became a peer, he made a further £500,000 donation, the single largest donation he has made to date.
BREAKING: Boris Johnson’s peerage for disgraced Tory donor Peter Cruddas faces legal challenge by @GoodLawProject.— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) June 12, 2021
– Cruddas gave the Tories £500,000 just days after Johnson forced through his peerage
– Goodlaw say nomination was unlawful
Peter Cruddas is a former Conservative Party Treasurer. He resigned from the post in 2012 amidst reports that he had offered undercover reporters access to then Prime Minister David Cameron in exchange for donations to the Conservative Party.
Jo Maugham, Director of Good Law Project said: “The independent watchdog didn’t think Peter Cruddas should be given a peerage. But Boris Johnson ignored their advice and appointed him anyway. Just three days after he entered the Lords, he gave the Conservatives half a million quid.
“I don’t think this is lawful. I think a fair minded observer, presented with the facts, would conclude there was a real possibility or danger of bias in the Prime Minister’s decision making.”