RISHI Sunak has revealed Boris Johnson pleaded with him to intervene to allow his honours nominations to pass.

When asked about whether anyone in Number 10 had intervened in the former prime minister’s resignation honours list, Sunak said Johnson had asked him to “do something I wasn’t prepared to do”.

Taking questions at the London Tech week conference, Sunak said: “Boris Johnson asked me to do something that I wasn’t prepared to do, because I didn’t think it was right.

“That was to either overrule the Holac (House of Lords Appointments Commission) committee or to make promises for people.

“Now, I wasn’t prepared to do that. I didn’t think it was right and if people don’t like that, then tough."

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The Prime Minister told the technology conference: “When I got this job, I said I was going to do things differently because I wanted to change politics, and that’s what I’m doing.

“And I’m also keen to make sure that we change how our country works, and that’s what I’m here talking about today: making sure that we can grow our economy, that we can maintain our leadership in the innovative industries of the future.”

Johnson accused Sunak of “talking rubbish” after the comments. In a statement, Johnson said: “Rishi Sunak is talking rubbish. To honour these peerages it was not necessary to overrule Holac – but simply to ask them to renew their vetting, which was a mere formality.”

Several reports have suggested Johnson’s allies blame Downing Street for Conservative MPs failing to appear on his resignation honours list on Friday despite them being nominated for the House of Lords.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries, ex-minister Nigel Adams and COP26 President Sir Alok Sharma were reportedly put forward by Johnson for peerages.

Dorries, Adams and Johnson have all resigned as MPs since being omitted, giving Sunak the headache of three separate by-elections, with Johnson also dramatically quitting over complaints about a Commons partygate inquiry.

Guto Harri, a former No 10 communications director who was made a CBE in Johnson’s outgoing awards, told Sky News the “relevant authorities” were “not happy with the scale” of the resignation roll and “some of the nominations originally”.

But Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said Downing Street did not interfere with who was recommended for peerages.

He said the Lords vetting watchdog would have had to publicly declare if Sunak had struck off proposed candidates.

Asked whether reports that Sunak or his aides removed names are true, Shapps told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “No. The list that came to him was the list that went to the House of Lords Appointments Committee (Holac) that looks at these things.

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“Just to be clear here, it went to that committee. The committee would have to say if the Prime Minister removed anyone.

“The Prime Minister has exactly followed the very long-standing conventions of prime ministers who simply take the list and pass it on and receive it back.”

Pressed on whether a member of the Prime Minister’s team removed names “months ago” before it arrived with Sunak, the Cabinet minister said: “My understanding is no. As far as I’m aware, that is not true.”

The admission comes before the Privileges Committee meets to conclude its inquiry into whether the former prime minister misled Parliament over Number 10 lockdown parties.

MPs have pledged to continue the investigation process after Johnson stepped down as an MP and launched an attack on the probe, branding it a “witch hunt”.

The panel is set to meet in Westminster on Monday with a view to deciding when to publish its report.

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There has been speculation the seven-person committee, which is chaired by veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman but has a Conservative majority, could release its findings in a matter of days.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove on Monday said any vote on the findings is a “matter for the House of Commons”.

He added: “One of the things at the heart of Rishi Sunak’s approach to government is that you respect due process. So ultimately the House of Commons, having set this committee up, will receive the report and will then decide what to do.”

The probe is thought to have ruled that Johnson lied to Parliament when he told MPs Covid rules were followed in Downing Street despite boozy parties taking place while social distancing restrictions were in place.