Knighthood for two senior MPs who caused trouble for Boris Johnson

Knighthood for two senior MPs who caused trouble for Boris Johnson

Labor’s Chris Bryant and Conservative Julian Lewis proved to be thorns in the former Prime Minister’s side (Image: Getty/UK Parliament)

Two senior MPs who have proved a thorn in Boris Johnson’s side have been recognized in the first New Year’s roll of honor to be released since the former Prime Minister left No. 10.

Conservative Julian Lewis, chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), and Labour’s Chris Bryant, chairman of the Commons Standards Committee, are both knighted.

There is also a tribute to former Treasury Secretary Sir Tom Scholar, who was summarily dismissed by Liz Truss on her first day in office.

Sir Julian, MP for New Forest East, confused Mr Johnson’s plans to install former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling as ISC chairman when he secured the support of opposition members of the committee to be elected to the post instead.

For his refusal to stick to the party line, he was punished by having the Conservative whip stripped from him – although it was later restored.

Sir Chris was chairman of the Standards Committee when it recommended Tory Owen Paterson be suspended from the House of Commons for 30 days for breaking the rules on paid lobbying by MPs.

Mr Johnson’s botched attempt to rewrite the House’s disciplinary procedures to get the finding toppled angry Tory MPs and was widely seen as the beginning of the troubles that led to his ouster.

A video clip from footage broadcast by the Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) of the UK Parliament shows Labor MP Chris Bryant, the Chair of the Parliamentary Standards Committee, speaking in the House of Commons in London on November 8, 2021, calling for an independent Investigating the growing allegations of flagrant corruption and misconduct within the Conservative Party and Government. (Photo by PRU / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO ENTERTAINMENT, SATIRIC, PROMOTIONAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT

Sir Chris, Chair of the Parliamentary Standards Committee, speaks in the House of Commons (Image: AFP via Getty)

Julian Lewis - Official Portraits of the UK Parliament 2017

Sir Julian is the MP for New Forest East (Image: UK Parliament)

A handout photo released by Britain's Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) flanked by Britain's Minister for Justice and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab (L) and Britain's new Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi (R) during Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons in London on July 6, 2022. (Photo by JESSICA TAYLOR / UK PARLIAMENT / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO ENTERTAINMENT, SATIRIC, PROMOTIONAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT

Both caused trouble for Mr Johnson (Image: AFP via Getty)

Sir Chris was also a fierce critic of the former Prime Minister over lockdown parties at Downing Street and subsequently resigned from chairing the Privileges Committee after the latter launched an inquiry into whether Mr Johnson had lied to Parliament.

Sir Chris said he was “very shocked” to learn he was to be knighted and described it as an honor for the whole committee.

‘I was surprised. I have no idea how that comes about,” he added.

“Everyone told me that this standards committee would be a quiet hillbilly. It didn’t feel like that. I’m trying, like the whole committee, to put party allegiance aside.

“Obviously Owen Paterson’s moment threw a massive boulder in the middle of an icy pond, but I hope the new code of conduct that we agreed just before Christmas will put Parliament back on track.”

Sir Chris added he hopes the honor will help highlight the work he is doing on acquired brain injuries as he chairs a national strategy committee due to report by the summer.

Meanwhile, Sir Tom is made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Bath.

EMBARGOED TO 2230 GMT FRIDAY 30 DECEMBER BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout file photo issued by the UK Government of Sir Tom Scholar who was made a Knight in Civil Service in the New Year's Honors List. Issue date: Friday December 30, 2022. PA Photo. See PA Story HONORS MPs. Photo credit should read: UK Government/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo's caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

Sir Tom Scholar, who has received a knighthood for civil service in the New Year’s Honors List (Image: PA)

His sacking was widely seen as a sign of Ms Truss and then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s impatience with the Treasury Department’s orthodox economic thinking.

It was also seen as contributing to the turmoil in financial markets following Mr Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget, which resulted in the couple’s downfall after less than two months in office.

In other honors, British ambassadors to Ukraine and Russia, Melinda Simmons and Deborah Bronnert, both receive damehoods.

Cop26 President Alok Sharma will be knighted, while Conservative former minister Andrew Stephenson, who was co-chair of the party in Mr Johnson’s caretaker cabinet over the summer, will be appointed CBE.

Permanent Secretary of the Home Office Matthew Rycroft is knighted, while former Cabinet Secretary Lord Sedwill is made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George.

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Justin Scacco

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