Chris Grayling Given A Peerage By Rishi Sunak In Surprise Dissolution Honours

Former minister and Conservative MP Chris Grayling
Former minister and Conservative MP Chris Grayling JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images

Former cabinet minister Chris Grayling has been granted a peerage by Rishi Sunak in a surprise batch of dissolution honours released late on polling day.

Once dubbed probably the “most incompetent minister in all time” for his management of the transport department in Theresa May’s government, Grayling will now be able to sit in the House of Lords.

He also served as employment minister, lord president, justice secretary and leader of the house of Commons under David Cameron.

The chair of Tory backbench group the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, was also nominated by Sunak, as was former prime minister Theresa May.

The Tory leader even put forward his Downing Street chief of staff, Liam Booth-Smith, for a peerage.

Booth-Smith ran Sunak’s unsuccessful leadership campaign in 2022 and was recently interviewed by the Gambling Commission recently as part of their investigation into the election date bets, although he is not believed to have placed one himself.

The former COP26 president, Alok Sharma, the deputy speaker of the house, Dame Eleanor Laing and former backbencher Craig Mackinlay – who made headlines earlier this year for losing his hands and feet to sepsis – also made it onto Sunak’s peerage list.

Labour leader Keir Starmer nominated eight figures of his own, including former foreign secretary and former deputy party leader, Margaret Beckett as well as one-time culture secretary Dame Margaret Hodge, and John Cryer, who served as party chair until recently.

Former defence minister Kevan Jones, former shadow music and tourism minister Barbara Keeley, ex-Comptroller of the household in the Whips’ office, John Spellar, and one-time deputy speaker of the Commons, Damn Rosie Winterton, made it onto Labour’s list, too.

The Liberal Democrats had one nomination of their own, Caroline Pidgeon, who was lately leader of the party in the London Assembly, while the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) put forward Thomas Elliott, the one-time party leader.

Former president of the National Farmers’ union of England and Wales, Minette Batters, and former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and child Health, Dr Hilary Cass will also be offered a seat in the upper House.