Sir Keir Starmer has ruled out putting forward a resignation honours list should he have a stint in No 10.
The pledge was made by the Labour leader as he criticized Rishi Sunak for approving Boris Johnson’s list of honorees before MPs had determined whether the former leader had lied to Parliament about his partygate pledges.
Since the list was made public, the Commons Privileges Committee has determined that Mr. Johnson, who abruptly resigned as an MP after learning the outcome of the investigation, should have been subject to a 90-day suspension for deceiving the House and participating in an intimidation campaign against the panel looking into him.
According to Sir Keir, it is “very hard to justify” the custom of allowing former prime ministers to submit a resignation honors list.
The opposition leader said there are “other avenues” for praising people who have done vital work for the country on BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
He added: “I think it is easier to be clean about this and say no, I wouldn’t do it.
“Tony Blair didn’t do it and I wouldn’t do it.”
Mr. Sunak has stated that by accepting Mr. Johnson’s honoree nominations without objecting, he acted in accordance with tradition.
Sir Keir, however, said that it was “wrong” for the head of the Conservative Party to have “waved through” Mr. Johnson’s list given the “unprecedented” nature of his circumstance.
On Monday, the Privileges Committee’s report may be put to a vote by MPs.
“We’ve never had a situation like this where a previous prime minister has been found to have lied to Parliament, not once but repeatedly,” Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, told Today.
“He has now pretty well been stripped of any involvement in Parliament. That is unprecedented.
“Why on earth didn’t Rishi Sunak say ‘I’ll put your list on one side, former prime minister. I will get to it but I am determined to see the findings of the Privileges Committee before I do so.
“‘Because if, for example, the Privileges Committee says you lied to Parliament, then I’m not going to put your list through’.”
It follows the release of a film showing a party held inside the Conservative Campaign Headquarters in December 2020 despite Covid regulations.
Shaun Bailey, a defeated candidate for mayor of London, and Ben Mallet, a Tory staffer, both of whom will get peerages and Orders of the British Empire as part of Mr. Johnson’s honors package, both attended the ceremony.
According to Sir Keir, none of them should be given an honor, and he claimed that “most” members of the public would find it “simply inappropriate” if they were.
Senior Tories disagree on whether those who participate in lockdown-busting activities should retain their honors.
London Assembly members Mr. Bailey and Mr. Mallet should not lose their honors, according to Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, because regulations permit outgoing prime ministers to make such nominations.
However, Sir Robert Buckland, a former justice secretary, advised the duo to think about turning down the honors.