Prime Minister Theresa May will not interfere with the official process of approving her predecessor David Cameron’s resignation honours list despite allegations of cronyism, Downing Street has said.
Following a leak of the list, opposition MPs demanded a complete overhaul of the system after it was claimed the former PM is pushing to reward personal aides, political donors and senior figures on the Remain campaign.
Mrs May was under pressure to intervene but a spokeswoman said the new premier would not interfere in decisions of the honours committees, which are independent of No 10.
“It is standard for an outgoing prime minister to submit a resignation list,” the spokeswoman said.
“The names on the list were at the former prime minister’s discretion, and they will now go through all the proper processes and committees.
“It would set a very bad precedent for a new prime minister to interfere in the official processes.”
The cronyism row was sparked by reports that Mr Cameron had recommended knighthoods for four pro-EU cabinet colleagues – Philip Hammond, Michael Fallon, Patrick McLoughlin and David Lidington.
Mr Cameron also requested a Companion of Honour award for George Osborne, who was dismissed as chancellor by Prime Minister Theresa May, according to the Sunday Times.
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Will Straw, head of the failed official pro-Remain campaign, was proposed for a CBE, and more than 20 Downing Street staff were recommended for awards, according to the report.
Among those reported to be recommended for OBEs is Isabel Spearman, who helped Samantha Cameron with her diary and outfits.
It was also claimed Mr Cameron recommended knighthoods for major Tory donors Ian Taylor and Andrew Cook.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said: “That Mr Cameron proposes to reward his friends network on such a huge scale will not only bring the honours system into disrepute, it will undermine the reputation of Theresa May.”