Two of the prominent business leaders who backed the Tory plans for a National Insurance cut are to be made Conservative peers, it was disclosed.
The Guardian reported that the appointments of Next chief executive Simon Wolfson and JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford had been approved by the appointments commission and would be announced "imminently".
The Conservatives last night confirmed their names had been submitted to Downing Street at the start of the year, but denied they were in any way linked to the campaign against the Government's planned National Insurance (NI) rise.
"Any suggestion that the new peerages are linked to the campaign against Labour's jobs tax is complete nonsense," a spokesman said.
"The names were sent to Downing Street in January, long before the campaign started or was even envisaged."
Both men are long-standing Tory supporters and significant donors to the party.
Mr Wolfson was reportedly active in organising the first of the round-robin letters, signed by business leaders, backing the Tory plan for £6 billion of efficiency savings in order to scrap most of the NI increase.
The issue dominated the first week of campaigning in the General Election, forcing Labour onto the back foot.