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PM overrules watchdog for Tory peerage

Secretly filmed: Peter Cruddas, who appeared to offer access to the PM for cash in 2012 PICTURE: REX

BORIS JOHNSON is facing cronyism claims after he defied a watchdog to make a Tory donor a life peer.

The PM ignored the House of Lords Appointments Commission’s concerns to elevate Peter Cruddas.

Mr Cruddas resigned as the Conservative party’s co-treasurer in March 2012 after secretly-filmed footage by undercover reporters appeared to show him offering access to then-PM David Cameron for a £250,000-a-year donation.

Mr Cruddas later said he regretted ‘any impression of impropriety arising from my bluster’, while the party insisted no donation was made or access offered.

The government said Mr Johnson ‘considered the commission’s advice and wider factors and concluded that, exceptionally, the nomination should proceed’.

Meanwhile, the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler has voiced concern after the PM added 52 Lords in 2020, taking the total past 830.