If there is to be an honours system in the UK – and This Writer believes there should – then it is clear that it should be independently-adjudicated (although the FCA and IPSA show there would be issues there).
Nominations from political parties would need to be judged on whether they were for real service to the UK, or merely for service to a political organisation.
The row over the honours system being used to reward Conservative Party ‘cronies’ is set to be reignited with the revelation that almost 30 Tory Party members or supporters have received awards.
Publication of the New Year’s Honours List confirms that the Australian political strategist, Lynton Crosby, is to be knighted for services to politics. It follows his short stint working for the Conservative Party earlier this year – for which he was paid £500,000 – during which he successfully directed their General Election strategy, resulting in an unexpected overall majority for David Cameron.
But analysis of the list shows that the future Sir Lynton is just one of many who have been honoured not for what they had done for the country, but for their services to the Conservative Party.
Labour’s shadow home Secretary, Andy Burnham, said: “This outrageous award is the clearest evidence yet that the Tories think they can get away with whatever they like. It is a timely reminder that Labour must make it a New Year’s resolution to stop facing inwards and expose them for what they are.”
The Labour MP Graham Jones warned: “The honours system is supposed to recognise dedicated public service, not simply be a vehicle to reward Tory cronies and donors. David Cameron should take care not to undermine the integrity of the system”.
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