Rishi Sunak is being urged to either delay or cancel Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list as the former prime minister finds himself embroiled in yet another lockdown scandal.
Johnson has been reported to the police by the Cabinet Office over fresh claims that he may have broken lockdown rules during the pandemic.
Information has been passed to two forces over alleged visits from the former prime minister’s friends to Chequers as well as potential breaches within Downing Street.
The Metropolitan Police said it was “currently assessing” details it had received relating to incidents between June 2020 and May 2021.
It has led to allegations of a political witchhunt, with several Johnson allies threatening to trigger by-elections over the latest scandal.
Nadine Dorries, Nigel Adams and Alok Sharma are among the sitting MPs that could step back from the Commons ahead of the next election.
They are all reportedly among the 50 names included in Johnson’s resignation honours list, which is thought to be nearing approval and could be published within two weeks.
Labour and the Lib Dems have called on Sunak to pull the list, with some Conservatives also privately baffled as to why Sunak would press ahead with it.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said it was impossible for the list to go ahead now Johnson is facing fresh accusations.
“With the disgraced former prime minister now facing new allegations and under multiple investigations, there should be no question of Rishi Sunak approving honours for his cronies and cheerleaders.
“The prime minister should refuse to do Boris Johnson’s bidding and make it clear that he will reject these demands.
“His top priority right now should be tackling the cost of living crisis facing ordinary people, not handing out more rewards for 13 years of Tory failure.”
The Liberal Democrat chief whip, Wendy Chamberlain, said: “The days of exiting prime ministers nominating peers should be left in the past, particularly when they leave under a cloud of scandal like Boris Johnson. At the very least, Rishi Sunak must step in and delay this list while Johnson is under police investigation.”
Chris Bryant, the chair of the House of Commons standards committee, also said the idea of a resignation honours list was “completely inappropriate” while the former prime minister is facing fresh allegations about rule-breaking at Chequers.
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