Speaking to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg amid criticism of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, Energy Secretary Grant Shapps stated that Gordon Brown “appointed 50 new peers” when he resigned as Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown did not issue a resignation honours list. Instead, there was a cross-party “dissolution list” to mark the end of the 2005-2010 parliament, which created 29 Labour peers, 16 Tories, nine Lib Dems and one from the DUP.
Grant Shapps misled BBC TV viewers in his attempt to defend Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.
We emailed Grant Shapps’ parliamentary office offering him the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply.
Additional Note Laura Kuenssburg failed to challenge Grant Shapps during the interview, but did issue a correction 20 minutes later, stating “for all you political pub quiz champions out there, you might have noticed it already. Grant Shapps said that Gordon Brown had a resignation honours list. In fact, he had a dissolution honours list which actually gave rewards to members of all political parties.”
She then added, “We like to make nerds happy on a Sunday morning, so that clarification is something you can entertain your friends and relatives without throughout the day.”
Notice the way that the former BBC Political Editor trivialises this episode. Rather than expressing surprise or dismay at Grant Shapps’s attempt to deceive BBC viewers, Laura Kuenssburg dismissed the issue as a matter of interest for “nerds” and “political pub quiz champions.”
We sent an email to the BBC press office quoting from the above commentary and offering the cooperation the chance to respond. In reply the BBC stated that “the BBC provided the correct factual information and appropriate context.” We are grateful to the organisation for taking the trouble to respond.