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Inside the tussle over the Truss gongs

(Photo: Getty)

Another month, another resignation honours list. It was a row over Boris Johnson’s peerages that led to Rishi Sunak facing multiple by-elections last month – with one still to follow, should Nadine Dorries ever get round to quitting. But when it comes to Liz Truss’s honours list, the row is not so much about the vetting process that saw Dorries and others knocked off as who would want to be on it in the first place.

Truss’s rumoured list of 14 appointees (an honour for every three and a half days of her 49-day premiership) is currently thought to be going through vetting. However, some in her team wanted their names off the list well before then. In the final hours of Truss’s time in Downing Street she was caught in meetings with various aides as the different factions debated the merits of the shortest-serving prime minister in history issuing an honours list. Her chief of staff, Mark Fullbrook, was firmly in the yes camp – but others took Truss aside to suggest she would be best advised to give the whole thing a miss.

The Fullbrook camp won out – and a list is coming. But not all staff will be on it, with the Times reporting that two staff members declined the offer. Mr S understands that around the time of Truss’s exit, Fullbrook wrote on a staff WhatsApp group that he was encouraging honours for the core team. Two members of staff – a female special adviser and a senior policy aide – replied to the group ultimately saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’. Others have privately suggested they are not interested in a gong. ‘It’s a lot more hassle than it’s worth,’ says one former Truss staffer on the prospect of being on the list.

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Steerpike
Written by
Steerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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