In numbers: Remain campaigners and Downing St aides to get gongs - but how does Cameron's honours list compare to previous PMs?

Mark Sands
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Former Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down after Britain voted to leave the EU in June (Source: Getty)

Former Prime Minister David Cameron is facing fury over this morning over honours expected to be delivered to former members of staff and EU referendum campaigners.

The Sunday Times reported that Cameron will hand out 48 gongs in his resignation honours, with exactly half predicted for former Downing Street staff.

The nominations have led to the former PM being accused of cronyism, with 20 former or current special advisers handed prizes, including Samantha Cameron's adviser Isabel Spearman, along with two of Cameron's former official drivers.

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“They must have gone through the No 10 staff list when they were compiling the nominations,” one Whitehall insider told the Sunday Times.

“I’m surprised Larry [the Downing Street cat] is not in there.”

Also reportedly honoured will be four cabinet members - Philip Hammond, Michael Fallon, David Lidington and Patrick McLoughlin.

All of the MPs campaigned for Remain in the build up to June's EU referendum, and Cameron is similarly expected to honour Will Straw, director of Britain Stronger in Europe (and son of former justice secretary Jack Straw).

Ian Taylor, the chief executive of energy conglomerate Vitol, who donated to both the Remain camp and the Better Together campaign ahead of the Scottish referendum, is also expected to receive a gong.

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In total, Cameron's list reportedly includes nine knighthoods, two dames, nine CBEs, 10 OBEs, 16 MBEs, one companion of the order of Bath and one companion of honour, with the last award going to former chancellor George Osborne.

But how does it compare to the awards handed out by his predecessors?

Major – 41 honours

The most recent resignation honours list was put out by John Major.

Excluding the 10 life peerages handed out by Major – Cameron's nominations for the House of Lords are yet to be revealed – the previous Conservative Prime Minister made a total of 41 awards in his final honours.

Selected honours handed out by Major included gongs for his constituency agent and chairman, his press secretary, his parliamentary private secretary, and his personal assistant, as well as an honour for Norma Major's secretary.

Major also handed titles to a number of his former colleagues, including Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Heseltine, who had served as his foreign secretary and deputy prime minister, respectively, as well as former cabinet members and Conservative Party chairs Jeremy Hanley and Brian Mawhinney.

Thatcher – 36 honours

By contrast, the 1990 resignation honours published by Margaret Thatcher were relatively parsimonious.

Excluding peerages, the late Iron Lady's final prizes ran to just 36 names, again including a raft of awards to former Downing Street secretaries, assistants and aides, as well as her personal physician.

But perhaps reflecting the manner in which she left office, Thatcher gave few prizes to her former government colleagues, instead honouring former Conservative party vice chair Joan Seccombe and her former parliamentary private secretary and energy minister Peter Morrison.

Other notable prizes went to her former political secretary John Whittingdale, who until recently served as Cameron's culture secretary, and Downing Street's then-chief press secretary Bernard Ingham.