Former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith has been sworn in as Lord of Richmond Park – the constituency seat he lost to the Liberal Democrats in the election.
A friend of Boris Johnson, he is now Lord Goldsmith and will keep his job as an environment and development minister.
The decision to make the failed MP a peer alongside Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan – who stepped down as an MP – has faced heavy criticism from voters who have accused the PM of cronyism.
Now Baroness Morgan of Cotes, she quit the Commons in the December election but was given a seat in the Upper House by Mr Johnson.
It is unusual but not unprecedented for a secretary of state to sit in the unelected Lords rather than the elected Commons.
Lady Morgan decided not to contest her Loughborough seat in the general election, citing the ‘abuse’ she suffered while doing the job.
Environmental campaigner Goldsmith wore synthetic ermine for his swearing in, while Morgan opted for real fur, a Lords spokesperson confirmed.
She was flanked by supporters Baroness Verma and Lord Young of Cookham as she swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen in the short introduction ceremony.
Lord Goldsmith was flanked by supporters Lord True and Lord Randall of Uxbridge when he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.
The appointments have prompted Labour claims of ‘jobs for mates’ of the prime minister.
Goldsmith was once a leading champion for giving voters greater power to oust MPs via a recall mechanism, asking in 2014: ‘Do we trust our voters to hold us to account or not?’
Morgan meanwhile told reporters during the election campaign that she had not been offered a peerage and once said she would refuse to serve in a Johnson government.
Lib Dem MP Sarah Olney, who ousted Goldsmith in Richmond Park, said: ‘Boris Johnson is making a mockery of his so called “people’s government”.
‘This is the second week of parliament since the election and already Boris Johnson is rewarding his cronies with peerages.
‘It is time we reformed the House of Lords as a wider package of electoral reform, rather than allowing the prime minister to use the unelected second chamber as a job centre for his friends.’