Peerage and honours for former comms aides to David Cameron

Five former Number 10 press and comms staffers including Craig Oliver have been given honours following David Cameron's resignation, while Gabby Bertin has been appointed to the House of Lords, despite accusations of cronyism in the ex-PM's nominations.

David Cameron: Dishonourable in resignation gongs list? (Credit: Brett Jordan via Flickr)
David Cameron: Dishonourable in resignation gongs list? (Credit: Brett Jordan via Flickr)

It was announced today (Thursday) that Gabby Bertin, latterly director of external relations at Number 10, would be made a Conservative peer.

A simultaneous announcement said that former Downing Street director of comms Craig Oliver would be given a knighthood for political and public service, while Helen Bower-Easton, the former spokesperson for Cameron, would be made a CBE for public service.

In addition, Number 10 press officer Graeme Wilson has also been given a CBE and Alan Sendorek, previously head of political press, is given an OBE – both for political and public service. Charlotte Todman – a former senior press officer at Number 10 who more recently worked on the Stronger In campaign – is awarded an MBE for public service.

Since Cameron's announcement that he would stand down, several newspapers have reported concerns within Whitehall about his nominations for 'resignation honours', given the number of close allies and pro-'remain' figures that featured on the list.

A knighthood will also be given to the former treasurer of Conservatives In, Andrew Cook, a CBE to Stronger In executive director Will Straw, and other honours go to a number of former special advisers to Cameron. Lena Pietsch, a press adviser to former deputy PM Nick Clegg and now a senior comms executive at Facebook, is also on the list.

Two other female Number 10 staff – head of operations Liz Sugg (already a CBE) and policy unit chief Camilla Cavendish – are among the list of 16 new peers. Another, Laura Wyld, the former head of the Prime Minister's appointment unit, formerly worked for Fishburn Hedges, now part of FleishmanHillard Fishburn. One of Fishburn's founders tweeted his congratulations.

Earlier this week, two public affairs experts told PRWeek that Cameron's handling of the honours distribution had been poor.

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