By Amit Roy
THE decision by Boris Johnson, 56, to give a peerage to his brother, Jo, 48, looks like an attempt by the prime minister to resolve a family quarrel.
It will be recalled that Jo resigned from his brother’s government in September last year, with a bombshell tweet: “It’s been an honour to represent Orpington for 9 years & to serve as a minister under three PMs. In recent weeks I’ve been torn between family loyalty and the national interest – it’s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister.”
But Jo, who was once the Financial Times correspondent in India and acquitted himself well as universities and science minister – he was highly regarded in Delhi – will be a worthwhile addition to the Lords.
After leaving politics, Jo has kept a low profile but he did turn up on October 2 last year for the commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary held by the statue of the Mahatma in Parliament Square in London.
It is a pity, however, that in a break with tradition, John Bercow, speaker of the Commons from 2009 to 2019, was denied a peerage. History will judge him to be the speaker who gave real power to backbenchers and made the Commons truly the Mother of Parliaments.