Jeremy Corbyn has used Theresa May’s resignation honours to appoint a pro-Brexit ally to the House of Lords.
Corbyn has used one of his nominations to make trade union barrister John Hendy a life peer. Hendy was a leading supporter of Trade Unionists Against the EU, a pro-Brexit campaign funded by UKIP backer Arron Banks. In an article for the group’s website, he claims that “the EU has become a disaster for the collective rights of workers and their unions”.
Formerly a supporter of Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party and a candidate for Bob Crow’s No2EU party, Hendy donated £3,440 to Corbyn’s 2016 leadership campaign. He recently shared an article from far-left group Jewish Voice for Labour attacking the BBC Panorama investigation into Labour antisemitism as “a farrago of half-truths, distortions and outright invention.”
Teaching union leader Christine Blower has also bagged a peerage. Under her leadership, the National Union of Teachers refused to take a position on Brexit in the 2016 referendum, despite seven out of ten teachers backing Remain.
Blower stood against Labour as a candidate for the London Socialist Alliance in 2000, alongside Weyman Bennett, the vice-chair of the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). Bennett was later accused bullying a complainant in the party’s rape coverup scandal, but that did not stop Blower from serving alongside him on the executive of SWP front group UAF.
A third and final gong went to Debbie Wilcox, the Labour leader of Newport City Council and a supporter of a People’s Vote who has been credited with pressuring Jeremy Corbyn to support a final say referendum.