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Anger as Labour's Tom Watson is appointed to House of Lords

Anger as Labour’s former deputy leader Tom Watson is appointed to House of Lords: Critic claims peerage system ‘honours the dishonourable’

  • Lord Watson has come under fire for his role in supporting fantasist Carl Beech
  • Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor said that it was a ‘very dark day’ for the system
  • Mr Proctor won a payout from police after being falsely accused of child abuse

Labour’s former deputy leader Tom Watson was appointed to the House of Lords yesterday amid claims the peerage system ‘honours the dishonourable’.

Lord Watson, who was nominated by party leader Sir Keir Starmer, has come under fire for his role in supporting fantasist Carl Beech, who made false claims about a VIP paedophile ring.

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who won a payout from police after being falsely accused of child abuse during the Operation Midland inquiry, said it was a ‘very dark day’ for the system.

Other VIPs falsely accused included former Tory PM Sir Ted Heath, ex-Home Secretary Lord Brittan and 1980s Armed Forces chief Lord Bramall.

Labour’s former deputy leader Tom Watson was appointed to the House of Lords yesterday amid claims the peerage system ‘honours the dishonourable’

Beech was jailed for 18 years for fraud and perverting justice in 2019. Mr Proctor said of Lord Watson: ‘It was right that the House of Lords Commission rejected his peerage in 2020.

‘It is iniquitous to ennoble him now. I am troubled that Watson and others have been rewarded for the failure of Operation Midland. 

‘Those who were the real victims – Lord Brittan, Edwin Bramall, Edward Heath – will be turning in their graves.

‘I am deeply depressed at the state of the honour system which honours the dishonourable and rewards failure. I fear the House of Lords will rue the day Tom Watson was ennobled.’

Mr Proctor said Lord Watson had not apologised for his role in Scotland Yard’s disastrous Operation Midland inquiry and had offered only ‘half-hearted’ condolences to the families of the innocent people who were questioned.

Other new appointees to the Lords include former Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster. 

The Tories remain the largest party in the upper chamber, with 262 peers out of 780.

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