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Nominations for Honours: Scrutiny

Volume 748: debated on Thursday 25 April 2024

6. What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department’s processes for scrutinising nominations for honours. (902491)

10. What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department's processes for scrutinising nominations for honours. (902497)

It looks like the Member who tabled No. 10 is not out of bed.

A validation process is carried out to assess the strength and credibility of each nomination. We protect the integrity of the honours system by carrying out probity checks with a number of Government Departments before the Prime Minister submits names to His Majesty the King for approval.

The Prime Minister previously backed calls for Horizon victim and campaigner Alan Bates to receive an honour, yet his name was absent from the Prime Minister’s surprise honours list last month. However, Russia-linked Mohamed Mansour’s name was on that list. What was it about the multi-millionaire, generous Conservative party donor that attracted the Prime Minister to the idea of giving him a knighthood?

The gentleman whose name has just been mentioned is a very successful businessman and philanthropist, and I am sure those qualities were very much in the Prime Minister’s mind when he was put forward for an honour. Extremely distinguished names from the world of artificial intelligence and the creative industries were also recognised for their contribution to our country.

I advise the hon. Gentleman to go back and check the list because, not for the first time in this House, he is wrong.

The Prime Minister recently announced an extraordinary round of honours, which many described as lacking integrity and bringing the system into disrepute. It included a donor who had donated £5 million to the Conservative party, and four Conservative MPs loyal to the Prime Minister. In the run-up to a general election that he is widely tipped to lose, what could possibly be the justification for the Prime Minister announcing and recommending a round of honours outside of the traditional King’s birthday list?

Order. It would have been easier if you had been here for the beginning of the question. Stretching the question is testing my patience and the patience of the Government Front Bench.

I thank the hon. Member for Slough for turning up. I refer him to the answer I gave a few moments ago.