THERESA May has been accused of the “worst kind of cronyism” after showering her former advisers and backroom staff with an array of gongs in her resignation honours list.

David Lidington, who served as her de facto deputy, and Olly Robins, her chief Brexit negotiator, receive knighthoods while Gavin Barwell, her Chief of Staff, is elevated to the Lords.

Also among the honours recipients for their “political and public service,” is Sir Kim Darroch, the ex-UK ambassador to Washington, who fell foul of Donald Trump’s ire over his leaked opinions of the US administration. In July, when the President made clear his government would no longer work with the British diplomat, Sir Kim resigned. He becomes a cross-bench peer.

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In Scotland, Jackson Carlaw, the acting leader of the Scottish Tories, who filled in for Ruth Davidson during her maternity leave, receives a CBE. There is no honour for Ms Davidson, whose swift departure from her leadership role came last week; believed to be too late for any inclusion in Mrs May’s list.


And the former Prime Minister’s love of cricket is also on display with a special honour for her cricketing hero, Geoffrey Boycott, who becomes a knight of the realm while another former England captain, Andrew Strauss, is also knighted.

Last November, Mrs May compared her Brexit challenge with the famous Yorkshireman’s tenacity at the crease, telling reporters: “And what did you know about Geoffrey Boycott? Geoffrey Boycott stuck to it and he got the runs in the end.”

Among the ex-Conservative leader’s backroom staff at No 10 to receive an honour are Peter Storer, another EU adviser, who gets a knighthood, James Marshall, the former head of the PM’s Policy Unit in No 10, receives a CBE as do her former policy advisors in Downing St Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy.

The onetime joint chiefs of staff offered their resignations after Mrs May’s disastrous decision to call a snap general election in 2017 when she lost her Commons majority.

Their departure followed months of criticism from MPs angered by the closed style of government the then PM was pursuing. Ms Hill was accused of bullying with claims she screamed and swore at Cabinet members and loudly castigated members of staff at meetings.

Also honoured from within No 10 are: Robbie Gibb, the former Director of Communications, who is knighted; James Slack, Mrs May’s official spokesman, who still has the role, and receives a CBE, and Paul Harrison, her party political Press Secretary, who does not and gets an OBE.

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There is also an OBE for Seema Kennedy, who was the ex-PM’s private parliamentary secretary, but there is no reward for Andrew Bowie, the MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, who also held the role in the last months of Mrs May’s premiership.

Former special advisers, Raoul Ruparel and James McLoughlin receive OBEs while her political adviser David Beckingham gets an MBE.

Other notable recipients are Sir Patrick McLaughlin, the ex-Conservative Chairman, who is made a Companion of Honour, and Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who becomes a dame.

Last night, the SNP reacted angrily at the awarding of the honours, decrying them as “jobs for the boys”.

Pete Wishart, the party’s Shadow Commons Leader, said: “The rotten news Theresa May has been handing out peerages like sweeties - to the same Tory advisers who got us into this Brexit mess - is the worst kind of cronyism and demonstrates everything that is wrong with the broken Westminster system.”

He went on: "It is a disgrace that the Tories are able to give away jobs for the boys and make their cronies and donors legislators for life; with no democratic mandate or accountability to the people of Scotland and the UK.”

The Perth claimed that it was no wonder Scotland had been so badly failed by Westminster throughout the Brexit process.

"Westminster is not working for Scotland,” declared Mr Wishart. “The House of Lords should have been abolished decades ago and the whole rotten system is in desperate need of reform.

“It’s clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland's interests and ensure we have a democratic system that truly works for the people of Scotland is by becoming an independent country,” he added.

Also among the honours’ recipients is Clare Brunton, Mrs May’s private secretary, who gets an MBE, and there are BEMs for Graham Howarth, the head chef at Chequers, the PM’s country retreat in Buckinghamshire, and Debra Wheatley, the No 10 housekeeper.