A leading figure behind Liz Truss’s economic policy and a key figure in the Brexit vote campaign could both become peers after their names were pencilled in for the honour on the former prime minister’s draft resignation honours list.
A person familiar with the process confirmed that a preliminary version of Truss’s resignation honours list included Mark Littlewood, director of the Institute for Economic Affairs think-tank, and Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the pro-Brexit Vote Leave campaign. Truss has also asked for Jon Moynihan, a Conservative party donor, and Ruth Porter, Truss’s deputy chief of staff, to be elevated to the Lords.
The names were first reported by The Sun newspaper.
The process of bestowing the honours on the four figures is so far at an early stage, with a government insider saying the list had not yet been submitted to the government. Downing Street will pass names on the eventual list to the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which in turn will seek approval from Buckingham Palace.
The nominations are likely to excite controversy both because Truss served as prime minister for only 49 days and, in some cases, because of the records of those nominated.
Littlewood was a key inspiration for the radical “Trussonomics” economic strategy that prompted Truss’s chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng to cut taxes in his “mini” budget despite surges in spending to cushion the blow of energy price rises. The strategy led to a collapse of confidence in the UK government’s financial probity that sent government bond yields soaring.
Elliott helped to mastermind the robust and often contentious tactics that won the Brexit referendum for Vote Leave in 2016.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said prime minister Rishi Sunak was set to give those on the list “obscene rewards for failure”.
“Instead of approving undeserved honours and lifetime golden goodbyes for her cheerleaders, he should be demanding the public apology she has refused to provide,” Rayner said.
Truss’s choices come as the Cabinet Office and House of Lords Appointments Commission continue to consider the resignation honours list of her predecessor, Boris Johnson. People involved have said that Johnson has cut his list from nearly 100 people to as few as 50 after officials told the former prime minister that he had made too many nominations.
Outgoing prime ministers are given the opportunity to nominate people for knighthoods, damehoods and other honours besides peerages. Peerages — nowadays always bestowed for the recipient’s lifetime, rather than as a hereditary title — are the highest honours on the list and give the recipient the right to sit in the upper house of the UK parliament.
Neither Elliott nor Porter immediately responded to requests to comment. The Institute for Economic Affairs referred questions to Liz Truss’s spokesman, who declined to comment on any of the names, insisting that there were “well-established processes” to go through. It was not possible to contact Moynihan.