Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given his brother Jo a seat in the British House of Lords. The former Minister of State is on a list of 36 House of Lords nominations released by the London government on Friday.
Among the 36 future lords is Philip May, husband of Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May. He also becomes a knight “for political merits”. The long-time chairman of the lower house, John Bercow, is not among the nominees. He is the first “speaker” in more than two centuries to whom this honor is not granted.
Proponents of the UK’s exit from the UK accuse Bercow of deliberately delaying ratification of the withdrawal agreement. A 2018 report also accuses him of leading a parliamentary culture where “bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment” could flourish. He denied the allegations.
Opposition politicians sharply criticized the government’s nomination list. Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart accused Premier Johnson of “the worst kind of nepotism”. He provided “friends and those who did him a favor” with life jobs.
The House of Lords will now have over 800 members. House spokesman Peter Fowler described the list as a “missed opportunity”. He had recommended that his chamber be reduced to a maximum of 600 members. The dignitaries can resign or retire, but otherwise keep their posts for life.