Crosby knighthood draws criticism

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 31, 2015 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Sir Lynton Crosby was campaign director for the Conservatives at May’s election

The knighthood awarded to an adviser who helped the Conservatives win the election is “outrageous”, shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has said.

Australian Lynton Crosby, nicknamed the Wizard of Oz, was Tory campaign director at May’s general election.

Cabinet Office Minister Matthew Hancock previously defended the award, saying Sir Lynton is a “great public servant”.

Ex-Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey was also knighted. Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton received a damehood.

Mr Burnham said Sir Lynton’s knighthood suggested “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,” he added.

Lynton Crosby profile

  • Born in 1956 in Kadina, South Australia
  • Credited with masterminding the Conservatives’ 2015 general election victory
  • Previously worked as campaign director for Australia’s Liberal Prime Minister John Howard
  • Worked on the Conservatives’ unsuccessful 2005 election campaign, which was blamed by some for giving the Tories a “nasty party” reputation
  • Helped Boris Johnson win successive mayoral elections in London
  • Managing director and founder of lobbying and research firm Crosby Textor

Fellow Labour MP Graham Jones added: “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”.

But speaking on BBC Radio 4′s The World at One, Mr Hancock said: “Political service, I think, is part of public service. People who make a contribution to our democratic process make a public service.”

Sir Lynton also ran Boris Johnson’s London mayoral campaigns and worked for the Tories at the 2005 general election.

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Ed Davey was energy and climate change minister secretary in the coalition government

Mr Davey, meanwhile, follows fellow former Lib Dem coalition ministers Vince Cable and Danny Alexander in being knighted.

He was appointed energy secretary in 2012 following the resignation of Chris Huhne, and lost the seat of Kingston and Surbiton, which he had held since 1997, at the general election.

Dame Rosie has been the MP for Doncaster Central since 1997, and served as a minister in the Labour government in departments including transport and health. She has been opposition chief whip since 2010, retaining the role under new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Her award was revealed on Twitter before its embargoed release by Labour MPs including shadow justice minister Karl Turner, while shadow defence minister Toby Perkins said her “loyalty and commitment to the Labour Party” were “hard to match”.

Ex-Borders chief honoured

Henry Bellingham, the Conservative MP for North West Norfolk and a former foreign office minister, has also been knighted, as has clerk and chief executive of the Scottish Parliament Paul Grice.

Robert Devereux, permanent secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, and Jon Day, former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, have been knighted, while HMRC and former UK Border Agency chief executive Lin Homer becomes a dame.

According to the government, the honours system recognises people who have made achievements in public life and committed themselves to serving and helping Britain.

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Labour Party

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Rosie Winterton’s damehood was revealed on Twitter by Labour MPs

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Conservative MP Henry Bellingham has been knighted

Anyone can nominate somebody for an honour, with nominations considered by the Honours Committee. The committee’s decisions go to the prime minister and then the Queen, who awards the honours.

Honours Committee chairman Sir Jonathan Stephens vowed to review the procedures in place for preventing names from being leaked before their publication.

He said: “Yes, the leaks are disappointing, most of all because we ask each of the recipients to keep the award confidential and they do so of course, and its just disappointing for them when something is pre-empted like that.

“So each year, each time we look to see what efforts we can make to tighten it still further, and we’ll look at that again.”

Sir Jonathan said only a “very small number of people” were leaked out of the total 1,196 people who received an award.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35201149#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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