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Cameron’s chums & Tory donors feature in dodgy honours list


From Samantha Cameron’s stylist to George Osborne, the former PM’s parting gifts could hardly be more personal.

Included in the list of people Cameron thinks deserves honours:

Ian Taylor, chief executive of Vitol Oil, who has given hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations to the Conservatives. Vitol was among the 2,200 companies found guilty in the US of providing illicit payments to government officials under the UN oil-for-food programme and has had scrapes with HM Revenue and Customs over a employee benefit scheme for senior staff it set up but later dismantled. Proposed award: knighthood.

Andrew Cook, gave £250,000 to the remain campaign and has donated £1m to the Tories over the past decade. He was embroiled in controversy in 2010 when he successfully lobbied for the cancellation of a government loan to a promising engineering company, admitting that he had wanted to invest in it himself. Proposed award: knighthood.

Philip Hammond, now chancellor, was foreign secretary under Cameron. He launched a government report during the referendum campaign that rejected each of the alternatives to EU membership. Proposed award: knight commander of the order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).

David Lidington, Europe minister under Cameron, was also prominent in the remain campaign, arguing that the case for Brexit was confusing, contradictory, nonsense. Proposed award: KCMG.

Hugo Swire was also a Foreign Office minister under Cameron. Despite being a self-avowed Eurosceptic, he put the case for remaining in the EU. Proposed award: KCMG.

Michael Fallon, defence secretary, and one of the few to retain his role under Theresa May, also campaigned to stay in the EU, warning that a decision to leave would be “applauded in Moscow”. Proposed award: knight commander of the order of the Bath.

Patrick McLoughlin was chief whip and then transport secretary under Cameron. Proposed award: knighthood.

George Osborne. As Cameron’s friend and sidekick – both in government and in the remain campaign – he was responsible for the infamous threatened “punishment budget” that enraged Tory Brexiteers. Proposed award: companion of honour (an order founded by George V in 1917 to recognise services of national importance, made up of the sovereign plus no more than 65 members).

Gavin Williamson was Cameron’s parliamentary private secretary. Proposed award: CBE.

John Hayes was most recently security minister under Cameron and is now a transport minister in Theresa May’s government. He was pro-Brexit.

Will Straw, son of former foreign secretary Jack Straw, was director of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign. Proposed award: CBE.

Daniel Korski. As deputy director of the Downing Street policy unit, he was latterly concerned with how to win the EU referendum. He complained about John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, for speaking out about Brexit and Longworth was suspended hours later. Proposed award: CBE.

Nick Herbert, a Eurosceptic and former policing minister, headed a pro-EU campaign group called Conservatives for Reform in Europe. Proposed award: CBE.

Charlotte Todman resigned as a Downing Street civil servant to head the remain campaign’s events team, according to the Sunday Times. Proposed award: OBE.

Arabella Warburton was John Major’s personal assistant in Downing Street and remained as an aide after he left office. She was made an MBE in Major’s 1997 honours list. Major was vocal in his criticism of the arguments for Brexit during the EU referendum campaign. Proposed award: dame.

Caroline Spelman, former environment secretary, argued that voting to remain would help protect the environment and countryside. Proposed award: dame.

Helen Bower, was Cameron’s official spokeswoman. Proposed award: CBE.

Simon Case was appointed as Cameron’s principal private secretary in January but had been in the civil service since 2006, and also worked at Number 10 between 2012 and 2014 , where he served as private secretary and later as deputy principal private secretary to the prime minister. Proposed award: knighthood.

Tim Kiddell, was private secretary and speechwriter for Cameron. He was responsible for a joke about the prospects of a second referendum, seemingly aimed at Boris Johnson – who has experienced marital problems – after he joined the Brexit campaign. “I have known a number of couples who have begun divorce proceedings,” Cameron said. “But I do not know any who have begun divorce proceedings in order to renew their marriage vows.” Proposed award: OBE.

Nicholas Howard was Cameron’s assistant private secretary. Proposed award: Companion of the order of the Bath.

Martha Gutierrez Verez and Sean Storey are drivers from the government’s car service, according to the Sunday Times. Proposed award: MBE.

Isabel Spearman, a former PR for handbag designer Anya Hindmarch worked as a special adviser in Downing Street, helping Samantha Cameron run her life, throw official parties and choose outfits for engagements at home and abroad. Proposed award: OBE.

Thea Rogers , a close aide of Osborne’s, hit the headlines last year when the chancellor gave her a 42% pay rise while asking public-sector workers to accept a pay freeze. The increase came as he appointed his special adviser, formerly a BBC producer, to be his chief of staff. Rogers is said to have been responsible for Osborne’s Caesar-style haircut and for placing him on the 5:2 diet. Proposed award: OBE.

Neil O’Brien, was appointed as a special adviser to Osborne, joining from the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange, where he was director. Proposed award: OBE.

Beverly Jane Robertson is the long-standing secretary of Tatton constituency association, according to the Sunday Times, whose MP is Osborne. Proposed award: MBE.

Lena Pietsch is Nick Clegg’s long-term press chief. She was credited by Clegg with managing relations with the Tories in the coalition government in a calm way. Proposed award: OBE.

Craig Oliver, a former BBC executive, was Cameron’s chief spin doctor. He is writing a book promising to reveal what went on inside No 10 Downing Street during the EU referendum campaign. Proposed award: knighthood.

Graeme Wilson was the prime minister’s press secretary, serving from 2013, when he left his position as the Sun’s deputy political editor, to when Cameron left office. Proposed award: CBE.

Ramsay Jones, was another former special adviser to Cameron. Proposed award: CBE.

Kathryn Jenkins is director of an events company responsible for numerous Tory party conferences and policy launches, according to the Sunday Times. Proposed award: OBE.

Sheridan Westlake is another who worked as an adviser to Cameron, joining the Number 10 team last year. He previously worked in the Department for Communities and Local Government. In 2010 he was named as one of the Telegraph’s 100 most influential rightwingers. Proposed award: OBE.

Alan Sendorek was Cameron’s head of political press before leaving to work for QPR football club last year. Proposed award: OBE.

Julian Glover worked as a speechwriter for Cameron. He was previously a Guardian leader writer and columnist. Proposed award: OBE.

Caroline Preston is the Conservatives’ head of broadcasting. Proposed award: MBE.

Laura Trott was a political adviser to David Cameron on women, education and childcare and architect of the Tories’ tax-free childcare policy. Proposed award: MBE.

Giles Kenningham, was the Tories’ director of communications before replacing Sendorek as head of political press at Number 10. Proposed award: MBE.

Martha Varney also worked at Number 10, according to the Sunday Times, having previously been a special adviser to Oliver Letwin. Proposed award: MBE.

Adam Atashzai joined the Number 10 team last year as Craig Oliver’s deputy political secretary. He was said to be responsible for making sure everyone in government was sending a consistent message. Proposed award: MBE.

Kate Shouesmith was an adviser to Cameron’s wife, Samantha, in 2014, and became an aide to Cameron in January last year. She also worked for the remain campaign. Proposed award: MBE.

Nick Seddon was the prime minister’s special adviser for health, care and life sciences. He previously worked for right-of-centre thinktank Reform and during his time there advocated deep NHS cuts and charges to see a family doctor. Proposed award: MBE.

Jessica Cunniffe was brought in to No 10 as the prime minister’s political speech writer in 2014, having previously worked for Baroness Warsi, when she was minister for faith and communities, for three years. Proposed award: MBE.

Richard Parr was a special adviser to Andrew Mitchell in the Department for International Development. Proposed award: MBE.

Richard Jackson was head of operations for the Conservative party. Proposed award: MBE.

Nicola “Nikki” Shale, used to run a property company and is involved with a number of charities. She was married to Christopher Shale, the chair of West Oxfordshire Conservative association (Cameron’s constituency association), who was described by the then prime minister as “a big rock in my life” after he died died from a heart attack at Glastonbury in 2011. Proposed award: MBE.

David McFarlane, is the current chair of West Oxfordshire Conservative association. Proposed award: unknown

Natasha Whitmill is Cameron’s election agent. She lives in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Proposed award: OBE.

Tony Gallagher does not have any details beside his name, the Sunday Times says. But it believes the document may refer to the property developer, who is a member of the Tory party’s Leader’s Group for major donors. Gallagher, who lives near David Cameron in Chipping Norton, has donated money to the party both personally and through his companies. In 2014, he attended a dinner hosted by David Cameron at Chequers, the prime minister’s grace-and-favour country home. Last year, his company was embroiled in an acrimonious battle over its plan to build 1,500 homes in a new town near Cambridge without fulfilling the minimum room sizes wanted by the council.

We’re surprised he didn’t include the Downing Street cat!

Companion of Honour

Meant to be awarded for having a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time.


Meant to be awarded for having a major contribution in any activity, usually at national level. Other people working in the nominee’s area will see their contribution as inspirational and significant, requiring commitment over a long period of time.

CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Meant to be awarded for having a prominent but lesser role at national level, or a leading role at regional level. You can also get one for a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area.

OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Meant to be awarded for having a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.

MBE – Member of the Order of the British Empire

Meant to be awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. An MBE is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people.  Read more about awards here.

cameron's honours.jpg

Cameron’s honours list


1 Comment

  1. […] Revenue and Customs over a employee benefit scheme for senior staff it set up but later dismantled. Cameron wanted to give Taylor a KNIGHTHOOD but Taylor wishes to distance himself from the […]


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