Former Black Country MP Ian Austin lined up for life peerage

Former Black Country MP Ian Austin is set to receive a life peerage for his work in politics, according to reports.

Former Dudley North MP Ian Austin (left) with Boris Johnson
Former Dudley North MP Ian Austin (left) with Boris Johnson

Mr Austin, who was the MP for Dudley North for 14 years before stepping down ahead of last year's general election, is among 30 new peers to be announced later this month, The Times reports.

The former Government Minister announced his decision to quit Labour in the Express & Star in February 2019, accusing Jeremy Corbyn of "poisoning" the party with extremism.

He then urged people to vote Tory in November's election in order to stop the "catastrophe" of Mr Corbyn getting into power.

Mr Austin had been one of a small number of Labour MPs to defy the party whip and back Boris Johnson's Brexit deal in the Commons.

He is currently the chair of Mainstream UK, the campaign group he formed to fight against extremism.

Former Labour MP Ian Austin launched Mainstream, the campaign against extremism, outside the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

Other recipients of life peerages are set to include Sir Ian Botham, who publicly supported the Brexit campaign and appeared alongside Mr Johnson before the 2016 referendum.

The legendary cricketer starred for Worcestershire during a career which saw him score 5,200 test runs and take 383 wickets.

Mr Austin's former Labour colleagues Frank Field and Gisela Stuart – who both supported Leave in the referendum – and John Woodcock, who backed Mr Johnson's Brexit deal, are also said to have made the list.

It has also been reported that Mr Johnson will seek to heal the divisions in the Conservative Party with peerages for Ken Clarke, Philip Hammond and Ed Vaizey.

All three had the Tory whip withdrawn after seeking to block his efforts to reach an agreement with Brussels.

Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham is reportedly set to receive a life peerage

Meanwhile former Commons Speaker John Bercow, who was nominated by Mr Corbyn, has missed out after an investigation into allegations of bullying was launched against him.

Downing Street is yet to officially confirm the reports.

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