09/08/2016 12:30 BST

David Cameron's 'Crony' Honours List Set To Be Investigated By MPs

Cameron rewarded former staff and political allies

Christopher Furlong/PA Wire

David Cameron could be hauled before a committee of MPs to explain his resignation honours list, it was revealed today.

The former Prime Minister could be requested to give evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee after its chairman, Bernard Jenkin, revealed he would call for an investigation into how the gongs were doled out.

Cameron issued a resignation honours list after quitting as Prime Minister followed his EU referendum defeat, and was immediately blasted for rewarding close friends and former staff members.

Of the 13 new members of the House of Lords he put forward, five of whom had recently worked in Downing Street, including former Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn.

Knighthoods were awarded to his chief spin doctor Craig Oliver and outgoing Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin.

Gongs were also given out to his wife Samantha’s stylist Isabel Spearman and former advisors Giles Kenningham and Alan Sendorek.

Today, Jenkin announced he would ask the Committee to launch an inquiry into the honours list as soon as Parliament returns in September.

He said: “We have already discussed the principle of holding an inquiry into the House of Lords.  This should include the size and composition of the House of Lords, but also the way in which new peers are appointed. I think reform of the House of Lords is by far the most important issue arising from this month’s controversy.  

“I hope the new Government will consider this and our previous report seriously, and I hope the Committee will agree terms of reference and to launch our inquiry as soon as the House returns in September.”

When the list was initially leaked before the official announcement, Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson said the gongs would do damage to the reputation of the new Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Watson said: “I hope Theresa May is not going stake her reputation on David Cameron’s old boys network.

“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 the Theresa May.

“It’s cronyism, pure and simple and proof the Tories will always put their own interests before those of the country.”

After the official list was published, the Labour leadership also found itself accused of dodgy dealings after Jeremy Corbyn nominated Shami Chakrabarti for a peerage.

Chakrabarti had recently carried out a review into anti-Semitism in Labour , concluding the party was “not overrun” by anti-Jewish behaviour.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the credibility of Chakrabarti’s independent report “lies in tatters” after she accepted the peerage, while MP Wes Streeting said “let’s not pretend that a Labour peerage in these circumstances doesn’t stink.”