'Theresa May has on the eve of the royal wedding nominated nine new Tory peers, including the former cabinet ministers Sir Eric Pickles and Peter Lilley and handed one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party as she tries to bolster her party’s fragile position in the House of Lords.
Four other former Tory MPs are to be elevated to a chamber which has defied May’s government on 15 occasions over Brexit, in an afternoon announcement that has prompted accusations that No 10 was trying to use Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding to bury the news.
The full list of Tories includes Sir Edward Garnier, Sir John Randall, Sir Alan Haselhurst and Andrew Tyrie, all former MPs. May’s other nominees are Diana Barran, Catherine Meyer, the founder of Action Against Abduction who is married to former US ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, and Amanda Sater, a former party deputy chair.
The nominations will tilt the balance of the chamber slightly in favour of May, taking her party’s total of peers from 244 to 253. But no party has a majority in the 780-strong upper house, and the government has been so heavily defeated on some amendments that introducing a handful of more supportive peers will only make a modest difference in getting Brexit through parliament.'
Read more: May names nine new Tory peers to bolster party after Brexit defeats
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