Prime Minister's Resignation Honours

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The Prime Minister's Resignation Honours in the United Kingdom are honours granted at the behest of an outgoing Prime Minister following his or her resignation. In such a list, a prime minister may ask the monarch to bestow peerages, or lesser honours, on any number of people of his or her choosing. For example, in the 1997 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours, an additional 47 working peers were created at the behest of the three main parties.

Since May 2007, the House of Lords Appointments Commission has had to approve proposed peerages, while oversight by the Honours Committee within the Cabinet Office ensures that other honours are appropriate.[1][2] Some previous lists had attracted criticism.

For example, the 1976 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours of Harold Wilson—which became known as the "Lavender List"—had caused controversy as a number of recipients were wealthy businessmen whose principles were considered antithetic to those held by the Labour Party at the time.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair did not issue a list, apparently because of the "Cash for Honours" scandal.[3] Gordon Brown did not publish a resignation honours list either,[4][5] but a dissolution list was issued on his advice (to similar effect).[6]

David Cameron revived the practice in his 2016 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours published on 4 August, following his July resignation.[7] Some names on the list were leaked to the press several days in advance.[8] A number of proposed recipients were reportedly blocked on ethical grounds.[9]


  1. ^ Blair's resignation honours list to be vetted The Guardian, 15 May 2007
  2. ^ PM resignation gongs to be vetted BBC, 16 May 2007
  3. ^ "Blair misses deadline for resignation honours". The Guardian. 22 June 2007.
  4. ^ Moss, Vincent (16 May 2010). "Gordon Brown to award peerages to John Prescott and Sue Nye". Daily Mirror (online). Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Harman 'blocks' Brown's resignation honours list". PoliticsHome. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Maev (1 August 2016). "From Lloyd George to the lavender list: the history of honours scandals". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Resignation Honours 2016". Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  8. ^ Hope, Christopher; Swinford, Steven (12 July 2016). "Number 10 aides Ed Llewellyn and Craig Oliver to top 'Dave's cronies' resignation honours list". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  9. ^ Stone, Jon (22 July 2016). "David Cameron's farewell honours list blocked by Whitehall over 'ethical' suitability of some appointments". Independent online. Retrieved 26 August 2016.