Ermine for captains of industry ... but only regrets for Lamont

Labour's friendship with big business is renewed today with four captains of industry created Labour life peers by the Prime Minister in a working list of 47 new peerages.

David Sainsbury, the supermarket chief, George Simpson of GEC, Terry Thomas of the Co-op Bank, and Andrew Stone of Marks & Spencer, are all made life peers by Tony Blair and will take the Labour whip in the Lords.

It came as the Tory leader, William Hague, rewarded Sir Graham Kirkham, a Yorkshire businessman and a major donor to Tory party funds, with the post of treasurer of the Tory Party.

Meanwhile, John Major today exacts his revenge against Norman Lamont, by excluding his former chancellor from a separate resignation honours list.

Mr Blair also uses a working list of 31 Labour peers today to repay some favours to former MPs who made way for Blairite candidates at the last election, including peerages for Roy Hughes, who was replaced by Alan Howarth, now a minister, and Stuart Randall, who made way for Alan Johnson, a Blairite union leader.

Life peerages for 10 former MPs included Mike Watson, who lost a vicious battle with the now suspended Mohammad Sarwar for Glasgow Govan last year. The businessmen outnumber the union leaders four to three in Mr Blair's list of peers, and there are also showbiz peerages for Sir David Puttnam and Ruth Rendall, the crime writer.

Women on Mr Blair's list include Helena Kennedy QC, and Barbara Scott Young, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds. Sir Robin Renwick, former Ambassador to South Africa, also becomes a Labour life peer.

The union leaders with life peerages are Tom Burlison, deputy general secretary of the general union, the GMB, and Labour Party treasury; Garfield Davies, general secretary of the Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers, and Clive Brooke, joint General Secretary of the Public Services Tax and Commerce Union.

Downing Street sources said the Labour working peers were to correct the imbalance of Tory peers in the Lords, and that they are expected to be active.

The honours system is traditionally used to pay favours, but Mr Major's list is tinged with spite.

The Independent has learned that Mr Lamont, who left the Commons after being defeated at Harrogate in the general election, let it be known that he would be prepared to accept a life peerage, but it was turned down flat by Mr Major.

The former Prime Minister has never forgiven Mr Lamont for the resignation speech in which his former chancellor delivered a searing attack on his leadership, for being "in office but not in power".

Others excluded from the list included Sir Marcus Fox, the former chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, and Dame Angela Rumbold, a former Conservative Party vice-chairman and a Euro-sceptic.

Mr Major has rewarded loyalists with ten life peerages including Norman Blackwell, former head of the policy unit at Downing Street, and former Cabinet ministers who lost their seats, such as David Hunt, Ian Lang and Tony Newton.

Knighthoods go to Robert Atkins, a former minister and close friend; Peter Brown, his agent in Huntingdon; Alastair Goodlad, the former chief whip; and Brian Mawhinney, former party chairman. There are knighthoods for two ex-Cabinet ministers; Michael Forsyth, former Scottish secretary, and Malcolm Rifkind, former foreign secretary.

Michael Heseltine, whom Mr Major had hoped would take over the leadership after the election defeat, until he had a second heart attack, is made a companion of honour. There are minor honours sprinkled among his former party and Downing Street aides, including an OBE for Rob Rumble, his driver.

Mr Blair also announced 11 life peerages for the Liberal Democrats, including former MPs Emma Nicholson and Diana Maddock. Delia Smith, however, the television cookery presenter, has turned down the offer of a working peerage. Ms Smith, who has a new television series planned, said she would not have the time to devote to attending the House of Lords on government business.

Honours list, page 8

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
people
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Life and Style
The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital