Downing Street had signalled that the gong for Mr Goldsmith – a close friend ofCarrie Symonds, the prime minister’s girlfriend – would be delayed until the New Year, to dilute the controversy.
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There had also been speculation that his complicated tax history, as a former ‘non-dom’ and son of a billionaire, would hold up the process.
But the government has now announced that the Queen is “pleased to signify Her intention of conferring a peerage of the United Kingdom for life on Zac Goldsmith”.
He will continue in the environment brief, a role he only took on last July, but will be unpaid.
Mr Goldsmith – defeated by theLiberal Democratsin Richmond Park, south-west London – held non-domiciled status , allowing him to reduce his tax bills, until he became an MP.
Educated atEton, he is the son of the billionaire businessman and financier, Sir James Goldsmith, whose Referendum Party championed the Eurosceptic cause in the s.
Despite once vowing to end “cronyism”, Mr Johnson is expected to create a sizeable number of peers, in a list that will combine a set of dissolution honors with political appointments.