BORIS Johnson could hand a peerage to the red wall poster boy Ben Houchen before he leaves No10.
The outgoing PM is mulling making the Tees Valley mayor a Lord as he is seen as a levelling up success story.
Boris Johnson could hand a peerage to Red Wall poster boy Ben Houchen before he leaves No10
Tees Valley Mayor Mr Houchen
He’s championed billions of pounds of investments into the North East, making the case for his region, to Whitehall.
HOAR on Sunday can reveal Mr Houchen’s name has come up in longlist discussions to put him in the House of Lords to help cement the levelling up legacy.
A Whitehall source said: “Boris wants to see Ben in the Lords.
“It would mean his successor could bring him into the cabinet and ram home the levelling up agenda.”
Another added: “Boris loves Ben, and Ben loves Boris, so you could certainly see it happen.”
However Mr Houchen, 35, may decline the offer as he is understood to be ambitious and could eventually aim to become an MP.
This week he said the Tory party may regret getting rid of Boris, with many supporters on his patch baffled that the party ousted him.
He told the Telegraph said: “I didn’t think we should have got rid of him.
“Lots of first-time Conservative voters are completely bewildered, confused and actually quite upset that the Conservative Party got rid of Boris.”
Last month it was suggested the PM wants to hand Cabinet Ministers Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams along with ex-Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre gongs.
He’s also said to be considering a knighthood for his comms chief Guto Harri.
Last night Downing Street said they do not comment on peerage speculation.
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