Friday 20 December 2019 12:55 pm

Downing Street defends Zac Goldsmith peerage and cabinet role

No10 has defended the decision to appoint ousted Tory MP Zac Goldsmith to the House of Lords.

Goldsmith lost his seat in Richmond Park to the Liberal Democrats in last week’s general election but has been made a peer in order to keep hold of his role as environment minister.

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Downing Street declined to respond directly to questions on Goldsmith’s previous criticism of peerages as “seedy lists of party apparatchiks appointed by power hungry party leaders”. 

The PM’s official spokesman said: “Zac Goldsmith was doing an excellent and committed job in cabinet dealing with really important issues and he will now be able to get on with that work and carry on delivering.” 

Asked if it was reasonable to reward an unseated MP so swiftly, the spokesman added: “As I say, he was doing a really important job very, very well on behalf of the country and he will be able to continue doing so.” 

Goldsmith tweeted in July 2012 criticising the process.

“Seedy lists of party apparatchiks appointed by power hungry party leaders & insulated from any democratic pressure for 15 yrs? No thanks,” he said.