More than 100,000 people have backed The Independent’s petition calling for Rishi Sunak to block Boris Johnson’s plans to grant his father an honour.
The former prime minister put his father Stanley forward as part of his resignation honours’ list, having previously gifted his brother, Jo Johnson, a life peerage as Baron Johnson of Marylebone.
Mr Johnson’s plan has been dubbed “completely outrageous” by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, with former Brexit secretary David Davis also calling it a “ridiculous” and “corrosive” move.
On Tuesday morning, The Independent launched a petition calling on the prime minister to block Mr Johnson from giving his father the honour. Within eight hours, more than 100,000 people have backed the petition.
A number of signatories commented to say the plans were “unacceptable”. “It seems an abuse of power and privilege,” one wrote, while another commented: “It makes a mockery of the honours system.”
Senior Conservative Mr Davis said earlier: “There has been progressive corrosion of public trust in this system, so it doesn’t help to undermine that trust further just because of a family favour. It’s corrosive.”
Another former Tory minister also expressed that, if granted, it would be an example of “ridiculous nepotism.” The senior figure added: “The trouble with Boris is he tarnishes everything he touches. And now he is discrediting the entire honours system.”
“The honours committee should weed out the majority of these names and spare Rishi Sunak the embarrassment of having to veto them and correct Boris’s bad judgement.”
When questioned about Mr Johnson’s plans, his spokesperson remarked that “we don’t comment on honours.”
“The idea that Boris Johnson is nominating his dad for a knighthood, you only need to say it to realise just how ridiculous it is,” Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has added.
At present, resignation honours are granted at the request of an outgoing prime minister. This list can allow the monarch to grant peerages – or lesser honours – to those named.
Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list has already proven highly controversial, naming more than a dozen of his closest colleagues including Nadine Dorries and Scottish secretary Alister Jack.
It is not yet clear whether the list intends to offer Stanley Johnson a peerage or a knighthood, though Rishi Sunak does have the power to veto Mr Johnson’s request.
Click here to sign The Independent’s petition.