Theresa May has remained mostly tight-lipped since leaving office, but it appears she couldn’t resist the chance to use her resignation honors list to send a message to her successor, Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
May awarded a knighthood to Oliver Robbins, her chief Brexit adviser who negotiated her ill-fated deal with Brussels. He became a target for staunch Brexiteers in the ruling Conservative Party, and resigned before Johnson became premier.
Late on Monday, the Cabinet Office said in a statement that Robbins would take up a scholarship in the name of former Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood at Oxford University, after which he would join Goldman Sachs Group.
May wasn’t done there. She also gave a peerage to Kim Darroch, who resigned as the U.K.’s ambassador in Washington in July amid a diplomatic spat over leaked comments criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump.
Darroch was frozen out by the president, while Johnson, who was at the time campaigning to become Conservative Party leader, declined to back the envoy in the row. Darroch will now sit in the House of Lords.
Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill are two more names likely to raise eyebrows. Both wielded huge influence in May’s government, and resigned in the wake of the disastrous 2017 election that cost the Tories their majority in Parliament.
Gavin Barwell, a former Conservative lawmaker who lost his seat during the 2017 election but became May’s chief of staff, was awarded a peerage. Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, her one-time chief whip, and David Lidington, her de facto deputy, also received honors.
In total, there were 41 aides, politicians and sports stars on the list of honors given by May. They included her sporting hero, former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott, and former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss.
John Mann, who over the weekend said he would quit the Labour Party to become a government antisemitism “tsar,” was among 19 nominations for a life peerage.