More than 200,000 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. In less than two days, 200,000 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: “To allow this to go ahead would further undermine the public’s confidence in 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.”
Labour leader Sir Keir said it would be “outrageous” for the knighthood to go ahead. He said: “The idea of an ex-prime minister bestowing honours on his dad – for services to what?”
He told LBC Radio: “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.
“It’s classic of a man like Johnson. I mean, I think the public will just think this is absolutely outrageous.”
Liberal Democrats chief whip Wendy Chamberlain urged Mr Sunak to veto Mr Johnson‘s honours list if future ones “are to have any shred of credibility”.
She said: “Honours should be reserved for those who’ve gone above and beyond to contribute to our country. Boris Johnson‘s attempt to bestow that recognition on his father makes a mockery of the whole thing.”
Click here to sign our petition.