Timing of announcement prompts claims No 10 is using royal wedding to gloss over it

The prime minister has nominated nine new Conservative peers on the eve of the royal wedding, including the former cabinet ministers Sir Eric Pickles and Sir Peter Lilley, and handed one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party, as she tried to bolster her party’s fragile position in the upper house.

Four other former Tory MPs are to be elevated to a chamber that has defied Theresa May’s government on 15 occasions over Brexit, in a Friday afternoon announcement that has prompted accusations that No 10 was trying to use the proximity of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding to gloss over the news.

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