PM adviser: Party donors should prove they deserve peerages

Interviews for political appointees should be considered, according to Lord Bew. Picture: PA

Interviews for political appointees should be considered, according to Lord Bew. Picture: PA

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Political donors and party aides nominated for peerages should have to prove their suitability for the honour, Theresa May’s ethics adviser has signalled.

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Lord Bew, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said putting political appointees through an interview process should be considered, the Daily Telegraph said.

David Cameron’s resignation honours list sparked a major controversy after he was accused of rewarding “cronies”.

Crossbench peer Lord Bew revealed his watchdog committee was “very interested” in tightening up procedures, according to the newspaper.

But the peer said those nominated by the PM should not have to face the same criteria as those chosen for the neutral crossbench bloc in the upper house.

The Standards in Public Life Committee had stated in a recent letter that the row sparked by Mr Cameron had created “a sense that peerages can be handed out as rewards to political allies or party donors”, the newspaper said.

Under the new proposals, political advisers and donors nominated for peerages would have to be interviewed twice by the Lords Appointments Commission.

They would have to present “some understanding of the constitution” and show they have a “record of achievement”, the newspaper said.

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