Why are Brexit wreckers being rewarded with peerages?

Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond tried to thwart democracy. Elevating them to the unelected chamber is a sick joke.


Topics Brexit Politics UK

Boris Johnson has nominated former chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond for peerages, according to the BBC.

Convention suggests that all former chancellors end up in the House of Lords after leaving the Commons. But then again, Clarke and Hammond were no ordinary politicians. Both were booted out of the Conservative Party after opposing Johnson’s government in a key Commons vote on Brexit.

In fact, both have spent much of the past three years attempting to oppose or water down Brexit – defying not only the 2016 referendum result, but also the manifesto on which they were both elected in 2017, which promised a clean break from the EU.

Ken Clarke, chancellor under John Major, was the more openly Europhile of the pair. In 2017, he was the only Conservative MP to vote against triggering Article 50. ‘I just think it’s silly to have such a complex issue put to one day’s Yes-No vote’, he said, arguing that politicians had no duty to respect the referendum result.

In September last year, Remoaner politicians talked openly of replacing the pro-Leave Johnson government with a ‘government of national unity’ (consisting entirely of Remainers, naturally). Its sole purpose would be to delay Brexit and hold a second referendum. Ken Clarke was one of the preferred candidates to lead it. ‘It would be fun’, he said at the time, to take over Britain in a bloodless coup.

Philip Hammond’s anti-democratic manoeuvrings mostly took place behind the scenes. Despite Theresa May’s oft-repeated slogan, that ‘No Deal is better than a bad deal’, Hammond, her chancellor for her entire premiership, sabotaged No Deal planning at every turn. The lack of that preparation made it impossible to get a decent deal from Brussels. What May ended up negotiating was a proposed agreement that was in fact worse than EU membership.

Shortly before he resigned in July 2019, Hammond told BBC Panorama that he did not want companies to prepare for No Deal because it ‘might have damaged the economy’. Earlier that year, a few weeks before the original Brexit date of 29 March, a cabinet member told the Telegraph that Hammond’s Treasury was ‘the place where No Deal planning went to die’.

In government, Hammond also tried to keep the UK in the EU Customs Union – a flagrant betrayal of the referendum result that demanded we ‘take back control’ of ‘laws, borders and trade’. He argued for Customs Union membership explicitly after leaving government, but as chancellor he also did all he could to make it the end state of the Brexit negotiations. This was made abundantly clear by the government’s refusal to upgrade its customs facilities – a necessary step towards leaving the Customs Union.

Now, as a reward for their duplicity and contempt for the electorate, Clarke and Hammond have been handed peerages so they can lord it over us for the rest of their lives. These people tried to wreck democracy and are being rewarded with seats in the unelected second chamber. This is a sick joke.

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Noel Mac

17th February 2020 at 8:22 pm

Clarke. A fat lazy old has been who deserves to be despised for the rest of his miserable life. This drawling dawg has an ego as big as his overbearing gut, an entitlement that dwarfs Hilary Clintons and the common sense and morals of a sewer rat. How dare this blowhard tell me my vote for independence would be ignored as if I was a stain on his shirt ? How dare this embarrassment to politics continue to dismiss the greatest mandate in this countries long and distinguished history. Away with you man, away.

Michael Gilday

6th February 2020 at 11:16 pm

Ken Clarke was always true to his beliefs and was a popular honest politican. He attained Father of the House of Commons as the longest serving MP at that point in time. He represented a remain constituency and therefore his views also reflected his electors views. Regardless of his confrontation with his party, he desires to be honour in this way. Phillip Hammon I am indifferent as to whether or not he is elevated as a peer. It may as much be to balance the fact that John Bercow is not flavour of the month where the Prime Minister is concerned.

Dominic Straiton

6th February 2020 at 6:54 pm

Let the plebs in. Tommy Robinson would be a good idea. After all he has been telling the government what to to do for a decade. Lots of people would be alive if they had listened. Its not even racist or controversial .Unlike the elevation of people who destroyed the double jeopardy laws that persecuted mr Lennon .

Alex Ander

6th February 2020 at 6:46 pm

Stupid article.
As much as I found the aforementioned Clarke & Hammonds activities surrounding Brexit to be immensely frustrating & highly irritating, and I am not short-sighted enough to see there was in fact more to their political careers than their views & declarations on exiting the European Union.
It really is time for Brexiteers to get over Brexit – Parliament has been re-configured, the swamp has been drained, we’ve left the EU – so part of the Brexiteers side of the ‘healing of the divide’ bargain is to actually heal the divide – and not continuing to be bitter & snarky towards those that attempted to thwart the process.
The kind of sentiments echoed here are fundamentally the same in nature as the sour remainers that haven’t accepted that “Brexit is getting done”…

nick hunt

6th February 2020 at 6:55 pm

There is no moral equivalence here. Yes, the sentiments may both sound bitter, but you ignore the differing crimes causing the bitterness. Brexiteers didn’t try to overturn majority rule or support continuing foreign rule, unlike these remainer snobs and traitors.

Alex Ander

6th February 2020 at 9:48 pm

This isn’t a moral issue. Both sides of the argument had huge faults. I voted for Brexit myself but with no enthusiasm. I shouted at the TV for 3.5 years whenever Brexit was being reported. However, I see beyond this with the careers of politicians and what they’ve achieved despite of Brexit.

Neil McCaughan

6th February 2020 at 9:33 pm

You say there was more to their political careers.
Actually there wasn’t. Soros sockpuppets, and traitors.

Ven Oods

7th February 2020 at 8:07 am

You may have a point about Clarke’s long career, but I don’t see much distinguished that Hammond did. Before he became Chancellor, I’d never heard of him.

Noel Mac

17th February 2020 at 8:14 pm

Thwart. Now there’s a measly term to use towards a bunch of Sanctimonious cretins who put 2 fingers up to the electorate. No. Sorry. Those charlatans deserve every bit of bile that comes their entitled way.

James Knight

6th February 2020 at 5:48 pm

There should be a “special place in hell” for the democracy saboteurs.


6th February 2020 at 5:03 pm

If you really want to drain the swamp, start with Buckingham Palace, then move on to the House of Frauds, Fraud Chancellor and Privy Council. Give us a democratically elected head of state, proper separation of powers and fully elected bicameral, federal system of government.

nick hunt

6th February 2020 at 6:57 pm

We’ll start with the known liars and promise-breakers who directly betrayed and refused majority rule, thanks.


6th February 2020 at 5:00 pm

Brexit was always more about lining the pockets of certain Tory/Faragist City spivs than ‘freedom’, ‘draining the swamp’ or ‘taking back control’. The only people who will benefit from Brexit are the super-rich who organise society in their own interest, robbing the masses blind…

nick hunt

6th February 2020 at 7:00 pm

Remainer bigots rob the masses blind by refusing to accept and respect majority rule. So why do you support power to politicians rather than power to the people to remove them when they lie or fail?

Jonnie Henly

6th February 2020 at 4:12 pm

“Convention suggests that all former chancellors end up in the House of Lords after leaving the Commons.”

Well there’s your answer.

The HoL is a stupid, outdated system and the time has long since come to abolish it, but don’t go getting so shocked or outraged over predictable appointments like this that merely carry on the traditions of decades past.

It’s the Lords as a whole that’s the problem, not a few bad appointments.

Steve Roberts

6th February 2020 at 3:36 pm

Message from Johnson and Cummings… take that you lot, there’s much more to come, slowly slowly, piecemeal and patronisingly as possible, ok we may have to be overt at times like this but you all know we have your best interest at heart in this new democracy of ours, thanks Nigel for the gift that allowed this, you can spout all the criticism you want now from the sidelines, but you know 80 seats, opposition in tatters, we have to get on with this now the CUP has been saved from what was previously a likely electoral oblivion similar to the LP. Bye for now. Next.

Warren Alexander

6th February 2020 at 2:37 pm

Both these two gentlemen are perfect for the House of Lords. They both have a clear and obvious contempt for democracy and will be perfectly comfortable sitting in a place which is the very antithesis of democracy.

In2 Minds

6th February 2020 at 2:13 pm

Boris makes a mess, again!

Michael Lynch

6th February 2020 at 1:53 pm

I actually don’t mind Clarke, but am a little less keen on Hammond getting Peerages. Just as long as they keep Bercow and Swinson out. After all, time on the Lords is up and it’s bound to now face some sort of reform in the light of what happened during the Brexit debacle. Clarke, at least, has given faithful service to Parliament over the years although he played his part in ridding the house of one of its best PMs; Thatcher. The electorate should have been the ones who wanted to elect or dispose of her service not a bunch of traitors led by that awful creep, Heseltine. Of course, she was not removed because of the Poll Tax, Heseltine couldn’t have cared less if we’d had to pay twice as much, it was because she had become a tad too Eurosceptic for their liking.

Jules Hardiman

6th February 2020 at 1:09 pm

Please don’t forget that Clarke stated that he had not read the Maastricht Treaty but that he knew it was a splendid thing for this country – hum.

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