Boris Johnson nominates Brexit critics Hammond and Clarke for peerages

Phillip Hammond and Ken Clarke Image copyright EPA/BBC Image caption Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke were thrown out of the parliamentary for opposing a no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson has nominated two men he kicked out of the Tories in the Commons for opposing him on Brexit for seats in the Lords, the BBC has learned.

Former Chancellors Ken Clarke and Phillip Hammond had the Conservative whip withdrawn last year for attempting to block a no-deal Brexit.

They have now stood down as MPs but have continued to be critical of the prime minister’s policies.

The nomination and vetting process for new peers is not yet complete.

But Mr Clarke and Mr Hammond are on Downing Street’s list, the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg understands.

Downing Street is also expected to nominate former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who has also clashed with the prime minister over Brexit in the past, for a seat in the Lords,

The PM has also put forward two former Labour MPs – Iain Austin and John Woodcock – to sit as non-aligned peers.

The pair spoke out repeatedly against Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership and eventually quit the Labour party, campaigning in the general election to keep him out of Number 10.

Neither Number 10 nor the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which vets nominations, would comment on the contents of the Dissolution Honours List.

Convention suggests that former Chancellors often end up in ermine. But convention has hardly been in fashion when it comes to Boris Johnson’s government.

Phliip Hammond and Ken Clarke were among those expelled from the Tory benches in the autumn, two of 21 MPs removed at a stroke, branded as part of the resistance to Brexit.

But while these nominations are likely to raise Brexiteer eyebrows, they perhaps signal an interest in making peace after years of internal Tory warfare.

Don’t be surprised, too, if there are lots of Eurosceptic and Tory donors’ names on the list when it is finally approved and emerges.

The inclusion of Hammond and Clarke is notable, but we don’t know the shape of the full picture yet.

Mr Hammond, who was chancellor between 2016 and 2019, was blamed by Tory Brexiteers for trying to block the UK’s departure from the European Union, despite voting for Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement three times.

He resigned as chancellor when Mr Johnson won the race to succeed Mrs May as


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