Vote Leave chair and Labour MP Gisela Stuart denounced the awards as a “shabby stitch-up” and accused the Prime Minister of stooping to “a new low” in his drive to secure a Remain vote in the June 23 referendum.
The Leave campaign said a total of 22 prominent Remain supporters gained honours, including Britain Stronger in Europe deputy chair Richard Reed, the founder of Innocent Drinks, who got a CBE.
Other awards went to financial donors to the In campaign as well as people who put their names to joint letters from businessmen, entrepreneurs, scientists, doctors and the creative industries backing EU membership. However, the honoured individuals made up only a tiny fraction of the hundreds who signed the letters.
Actor Brian Blessed, who signed the letter, got an OBE; financier Damon Buffini, who reportedly gave £10,000 to the In campaign, got a knighthood; and hedge fund partner John Armitage, who gave £15,000, got a CBE.