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Who is Charlotte Owen and why did she get a peerage?

The 30-year-old aide among controversial names on Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 25 July 2023 12:40 BST
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Rishi Sunak: Boris Johnson 'asked me to do something I wasn't prepared to do'

Charlotte Owen has entered the House of Lords for the first time today, weeks after becoming the youngest-ever peer at 30.

A former aide to Boris Johnson, Owen was included in his controversial resignation honours list in June, joining fellow Tories Shaun Bailey and Ben Houchen in being elevated to the House of Lords by the ex-prime minister.

Mr Johnson’s full honours list was published shortly before he resigned on Friday (June 9) and sparked a political row with Rishi Sunak after MPs Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams were omitted.

Charlotte Owen is to become the youngest-ever life peer (Getty Images)

A parliamentary hairdresser, Michael Fabricant MP and former home secretary Priti Patel were among some of the other allies of Mr Johnson handed gongs.

Ms Owen will now become Baroness Owen. Here we take a look at who she is and how she earned the honour.

Charlotte Katherine Tranter was born in 1993 and attended the University of York, graduating with a 2:1 in politics and international relations in 2015, ITV reports.

She worked as an intern at Portland - a strategic communications consultancy before going on to work as a constituency intern for Tory MP William Wragg for one month.

Ms Owen then worked as a parliamentary intern to Mr Johnson for six months. After that she became parliamentary assistant to Alok Sharma, holding the position for seven months.

For a year and nine months after this, she was a senior parliamentary assistant to Jake Berry and Mr Johnson, before exclusively working for the former prime minister for a year and two months.

From February 2021 to October 2022, Ms Owen was a special adviser to both Mr Johnson and Liz Truss during her short tenure as PM.

Johnson is embroiled in a row with Sunak over names not being included on peerage list (PA Wire)

Ms Owen also reportedly worked for Liz Truss and the No 10 policy unit.

“She’s had a few jobs in Parliament,” Sky News’s Liz Bates said. One of those was working for Boris Johnson,

“She did in the end work for the Number 10 policy unit. And I think at the end of her political career she was working for Liz Truss and the chief whip at the time, not an illustrious political career by any stretch, but she will go to the House of Lords as well.”

Mr Johnson also gave awards to a number of aides who were embroiled in the Partygate scandal.

He was accused of a “sickening insult” to the bereaved after handing out gongs to allies caught up in the affair, including one dubbed “party Marty”.

Martin Reynolds, his former principal private secretary who boasted “we seem to have got away with” the “bring your own booze” garden party during coronavirus restrictions, has been nominated for a peerage.

Ms Owen previously worked for Liz Truss (PA Archive)

There were also honours for Dan Rosenfield, his ex-chief of staff, and Jack Doyle, his former director of communications, both of whom were in office during some of the rule-breaking.

Former No 10 head of operations Shelley Williams-Walker – allegedly nicknamed “DJ SWW” after playing tunes from a laptop during a No 10 party on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral – was given a damehood.

And there was a peerage for one-time London mayoral contender Shaun Bailey, who was photographed at an apparent lockdown Christmas party at Conservative Party headquarters in 2020.

Labour said it was a “sickening insult that those who planned Covid parties and held boozy lockdown bashes while families were unable to mourn loved ones are now set to be handed gongs by Rishi Sunak”.

The row over Ms Dorrries and Mr Adams - who also both resigned last week - not being included in the list for peerages rumbles on.

Mr Johnson accused Mr Sunak of “talking rubbish” after the prime minister claimed he had asked him to do “something I was not prepared to do”.

*This article was amended at 14:40 on 19 June. A previous version said Jacob Rees-Mogg and Andre Jenkyns had been elevated to the House of Lords in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list. There were in fact given a Knights Bachelor Knighthood and Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire. respectively*

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