As day three of ‘honoursgate’ begins, news comes that Ian Taylor, businessman and Tory donor, has asked to be removed from David Cameron’s leaked resignation honours list, if indeed he was even being considered! Find out more.
My view is that if Ian Taylor’s name did appear on the list when it is officially published, people will say that he doesn’t deserve a gong because of reportedly shady business dealings and that he is only included because he is a Conservative party donor.
However, by publicly writing to David Cameron and Theresa May asking for his name to be withdrawn from the list, if indeed it was even being considered, it will raise speculation that it has in fact been forcibly removed by the parliamentary scrutiny committee, which has been officially tasked to consider the suitability of the people Cameron wants in his resignation honours list before it is officially published.
This move will also raise speculation that Ian Taylor has been tipped off about his name being blackballed and has therefore decided to remove himself from consideration from the list to save face.
Here’s a few loosely transcribed soundbites from a couple of the numerous BBC interviews I did yesterday and on Monday about David Cameron’s Resignation Honours List along with recordings of the full interviews (just click on the pictures):
“An outgoing Prime Minister has the right to put whoever he likes forward for Honours, usually people who have helped him politically in one way or another while he was in office. The list is however subject to consideration by a parliamentary scrutiny committee to ensure that the candidates are appropriate. So as long as this committee is doing its job properly, it stands to reason that only appropriate candidates will receive honours.”
David Cameron leaving No. 10
“Yes a good few people are screaming in the press this morning for the honours system to be by nomination only, as it is for so called ordinary people who want to put forward their friends, family members and business contacts for a gong, but that’s essentially what should already be happening by ensuring that the PM’s resignation list is assessed by a parliamentary scrutiny committee. The PM can’t just dish them out willy-nilly under the current system, they must be independently scrutinised first.”
“I doubt he particularly cares if he ruffles a few feathers at this stage as he quite rightly heads off to make his fortune like many PM’s before him. He, like all other PM’s has certainly gone above and beyond the call of duty over the last 6 years and deserves to cash in on that. So making a few extra friends at this time by given the worthy ones an honour can only help.”
“The million-dollar question here is have these people gone above and beyond the call of duty because people don’t get honours for simply doing their job, or at least they shouldn’t. And it is literally the million-dollar question because that’s what a knighthood or peerage is probably worth in terms of earning capacity by leveraging one of these prestigious honours. The reputational benefits and personal branding benefits are immense. If you take Isabel Spearman for example, who was Samantha Cameron’s stylist and rumoured to be in line for an OBE, I suspect people will be queueing the length of Mayfair for her help and advice. She’ll probably double her fees off the back of it too.”
Isabel Spearman, Samantha Cameron’s stylist