Tony's cronies to Dave's faves: Cameron repays some old debts

Close allies of David Cameron will be rewarded with peerages tomorrow when Downing Street issues a long-awaited list of more than 50 new working peers,
The Independent has learned.

They include at least two donors to the Conservatives: Andrew Feldman, a close friend of Mr Cameron since his time at Oxford University and now co-chairman of the party, and Stanley Fink, a hedge fund manager who is the party's joint treasurer. Mr Fink has given the Tories £1.9m since 2003 and made further "non-cash" gifts, such as providing free flights, worth £66,000.

Mr Feldman raised the money for Mr Cameron's leadership campaign in 2005, was appointed Tory chief executive in 2008, and his company, Jayroma, has donated £55,000 to the party since 2006.

Another name on the list is General Sir Richard Dannatt, the former head of the British Army, who caused controversy last year when he became an adviser to the Tories' defence team in the run-up to the general election.

He stood down from the role after the election following criticism from other former service chiefs, who believed he should have remained politically neutral.

In his memoirs, Sir Richard accused Gordon Brown of being a "malign" presence as Chancellor who starved the military of vital funds even though the government had committed it to fight two wars at once. He accused Tony Blair of lacking the moral courage to confront Mr Brown over his failure to provide adequate funding.

Senior Tories are braced for a row over the list, which is expected to include 27 Tory, 15 Liberal Democrat and 10 Labour nominations.

Conservative sources insist it has long been normal practice for all parties to appoint senior party figures to the Lords after they have played a key role in general election campaigns. But there are fears in Tory circles that nominating donors may provoke criticism that the party is indulging in "cash for honours", the controversy that dogged the Blair government.

Another big donor, Michael Spencer, who stood down last month as the party's treasurer and has been widely tipped for a peerage, is understood not to feature on tomorrow's list, and may have to wait longer. Mr Spencer, who has given the Tories £278,000 in cash and sponsorship, sold £45m of shares in his Icap broking firm in January, weeks before they dropped in value.

On Tuesday, Mr Cameron made a surprise U-turn by accepting that two former Tory party workers recruited as civil servants, including his personal photographer, Andrew Parsons, should no longer be paid from taxpayers' funds. But the list of peers is likely to reignite claims of cronyism and undermine the Government's attempt to portray the Coalition as heralding a "new politics".

Labour's list of names is said to be less controversial. Ed Miliband, the party's leader, has broken with tradition by denying some former cabinet ministers the peerages they would normally expect. Some are believed to have been promised them by Gordon Brown, the former prime minister.

Among those who will miss out is Geoff Hoon, the former defence secretary. He and his former cabinet colleagues Patricia Hewitt and Stephen Byers were filmed by an undercover reporter before the election in May discussing work as lobbyists after leaving the Commons. Instead, Mr Miliband is expected to nominate people closely associated with his project to modernise Labour, dubbed "Generation Ed".

He has written to Mr Cameron expressing concern about the number of peers to be allowed to each party, and accusing the Government of packing the second chamber with Tory and Liberal Democrat members.

At present, there are 234 Labour peers, 193 Tories, 79 Liberal Democrats and 181 independent crossbenchers. Tomorrow's appointments will make it easier for the Government to avoid defeats in the Lords.

In their Coalition Agreement in May, the Tories and Liberal Democrats said that before the Lords becomes a wholly or mainly elected second chamber, appointments would aim to create a House "reflective of the share of the vote secured by the political parties at the last general election".

Critics believe the move is unfair and a departure from past practice. They point out that Labour did not become the largest party in the Lords until 2005, after accepting the principle that any change in the balance of power should be gradual.

The new peers

Stanley Fink

A successful hedge-fund manager and the Tory party's joint treasurer, Mr Fink once temporarily lost the ability to speak following a brain tumour. He is also a major philanthropist.

Andrew Feldman

One of David Cameron's closest friends, Mr Feldman was instrumental in fundraising for Mr Cameron's 2005 Tory leadership bid. He is currently co-chairman of the party.

Sir Richard Dannatt

The former head of the British Army was accused of dabbling in politics when he became an adviser to the Tories' defence team and called Gordon Brown a 'malign' influence.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones