Rishi Sunak has hit out at Boris Johnson’s attempt to secure a knighthood for his own father – joking that he would only give his father a card.

The former Prime Minister’s resignation honours list is currently being vetted after reportedly being cut in half from its original length of more than 100 names.

Stanley Johnson, a former Conservative MEP who has been a vocal defender of his son in recent years, has been nominated for a knighthood as part of the list.

By convention, a new prime minister does not seek to amend their predecessor’s resignation honours, and the current Government has refused to comment on the contents of Mr Johnson’s list.

Asked whether he approves of the former premier’s proposal to make his father a knight, Mr Sunak said: “For me a big success is remembering to get my dad a card on Fathers’ Day, so that is probably about my limit of it.”

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He added: “There is always comment and speculation about honours lists beforehand. I’m not going to comment on speculation. I don’t see these things until I see them so it is hard for me to say any more than that. My dad’s going to get a card on Fathers’ Day and that is about that.”

Robert Jenrick, the Immigration Minister who is one of Mr Sunak’s closest allies, directly criticised Mr Johnson’s honours list in a further sign the Government is unhappy with it.

He said on the BBC’s Question Time: “It isn’t sensible for a former prime minister to nominate members of their own family for honours.”

Mr Johnson is understood to have initially asked to make as many as 100 nominations for peerages, knighthoods and other honours, but that has now been reduced to around half that number.

He is widely believed to have offered seats in the House of Lords to key MP allies including the Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and former Cabinet ministers Alok Sharma, Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams.

When he was in No 10, Mr Johnson gave a peerage to his brother Jo, a former Conservative MP and minister.

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