Those nominated for a peerage should face rigorous interviewing to make sure that they deserve the honour, Theresa May's ethics adviser has suggested.

Lord Bew, who is head of the committee on standards in public life has said there needed to be a tougher selection process for peers, including being questioned over their suitability.

It follows criticism of the appointments made by the previous prime minister David Cameron in a scandal dubbed 'Cameron's Cronies' where many of his close advisers got peerages when he stepped down from power.

Bew said his committee was considering tighter criteria, including two interviews before a peerage was given due to public concern the honours were bestowed to large donors or as rewards to political allies.

A letter by the committee earlier warned there was "a sense that peerages can be handed out as rewards to political allies or party donors, that party donations carry influence, and that such patronage is a mechanism for giving political favours that intensifies mistrust of politics and politicians".

Bew said his committee was "interested" in looking at politically appointed peers to face two interviews from a panel of experts from the Lords Appointment Commission whereby they would have to show they understood the constitution and had a "record of significant achievement", the Telegraph reported.

There is already an interview process by the Appointments Commission for non-party nominations to the Lords and there is a growing appetite within Westminster for the same to apply to party nominations. Currently the Commission cannot reject political appointees if they are unsuitable.

"The committee thinks it is a very interesting idea ... The fact that there are two interviews is something that they are particularly keen on," Bew told the Telegraph.

"You have to accept that it's not comparing apples with apples. The committee is sympathetic but it accepts there has to be engagement with the political parties."

Baroness Evans, the leader of the Lords, said no changes were being planned on peerage appointments. "It is right that the leaders of those political parties remain accountable for their nominations," the paper reported.