Loyalists, not traitors get their reward from Major

John Major today exacts his revenge against Norman Lamont, by excluding his former Chancellor from the resignation honours list, in which the former Prime Minister reward friends ranging from Cabinet ministers to his private car driver.

Tony Blair also uses a working list of 47 peers today to repay some favours for 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.

Businessmen outnumber the union leaders four to three in his list of peers, and there are also "show-biz" peerages for Sir David Puttnam and Ruth Rendell, the crime writer. The honours system is traditionally used to pay favours, like Harold Wilson's "lavender list", but Mr Major's list is tinged with spite.

The Independent has learnt 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".

"It is being put about Norman said no, but that is totally untrue. He did express an interest in going to the Lords, but was refused. It is quite petty," said one of Mr Lamont's friends.

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 10 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, the ex-party chairman.

There are knighthoods for two former Cabinet ministers who turned down peerages, Michael Forsyth, the former Secretary of State for Scotland, and Malcolm Rifkind, the former Foreign Secretary.

There are minor honours sprinkled among his former party and Downing Street aides, including OBEs for Trevor Butler, his special branch detective, and Rob Rumble, his driver.

Major honours loyal workers,

page 8

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