Angry Conservative peers led protests today over David Cameron's failure to make the new Leader of the House of Lords a full member of the Cabinet.
Baroness Stowell of Beeston’s promotion had already sparked controversy when it emerged she would receive a smaller salary than her male predecessor. Downing Street sought to head off the row by announcing her pay would be topped up from Tory coffers.
Mr Cameron told MPs she would “do the same job as her predecessor, sit at the same place around the Cabinet table as her predecessor and receive the same amount of money”.
But the appointment threatened to unravel as peers denounced it as a “constitutional outrage” that for the first time no-one from the Lords is a full Cabinet member.
The former Tory Cabinet minister Lord Forsyth of Drumlean said: “What sort of signal does that send to the Civil Service and others about the authority of this place in its important duty in revising legislation?”
Video: Cabinet reshuffle analysis
Lord Cormack, a former Conservative MP, told her: “What is at stake here is not your status but the status of this whole House.”
Meanwhile three senior Tories who lost their jobs in this week’s reshuffle – Alan Duncan, Oliver Heald and Hugh Robertson – are to set to receive knighthoods. Labour MPs accused Mr Cameron of abusing the honours system.