THE chair of an independent body responsible for making nominations for the House of Lords has confirmed the Prime Minister makes the final decision on peerage recommendations.

It comes amid a row over the controversial peerage of Claire Fox, with Boris Johnson being urged to block it.

Ms Fox is a former core activist and organiser for the Revolutionary Communist Party.

After the 1993 Warrington bombing, which killed Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, the Revolutionary Communist Party’s official newsletter stated that they defended ‘the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom’.

Ms Fox was also a member of the Irish Freedom Movement, which backed dissident republicanism.

Labour’s Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols has written to Mr Johnson urging him to block the peerage.

She also wrote to Lord Paul Bew, chairman of House of Lords Appointments Commission, to raise concerns about the issue.

In his response, he said: “Nominations of this nature are made by the Prime Minister.

“Nominations can also be received from the leader of an opposition party, where the Prime Minister has indicated to them that their party will be granted a certain number of new peers.

“The House of Lords Appointments Commission vets those nominees for probity and propriety.

“The commission makes no judgement on the suitability of the individual to enter the Lords, or whether their achievements merit that decision. Those questions are a matter for the nominator.

“Advice relating to propriety is then provided to the Prime Minister. As I am sure you will appreciate, that advice is confidential.

“The Prime Minister makes the final decision on whether to recommend to Her Majesty that an individual is granted a peerage.”

Ms Nichols reaffirmed that Mr Johnson ‘can and must act’ to block the peerage.

She said: “It is here, in black and white, from the chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission that if Claire Fox takes up her place in the Lords that it is because Boris Johnson signed it off.

“I hope Warrington Conservatives will stop trying to hide behind the process and dodge responsibility, and join me in making that demand on the Prime Minister.

“Whatever party you support, I think everyone in Warrington can agree that Claire Fox has no place in the House of Lords.”

Although the commission recommends individuals for appointment as non-party-political life peers, as stated on Parliament’s website, members of the House of Lords are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Warrington South Tory MP Andy Carter has issued a statement.

He said: “Ms Fox isn’t a Conservative politician, she hasn’t been nominated by the Conservative party and won’t sit in the House of a Lords as a Conservative peer.

“I don’t subscribe to her politics and I certainly don’t agree with the comments she made following the Warrington bombing in 1993, it’s a terrible shame that she hasn’t been unequivocal with an apology for what she said at the time.

“I will be very clear, I do not support her appointment to the House of Lords and I understand fully why so many people in Warrington feel the same.”