John Redwood's knighthood branded 'desperate attempt' to save Theresa May's Brexit deal

Posted On: 
29th December 2018

Theresa May has been accused of desperation after veteran Eurosceptic MP John Redwood was awarded a knighthood just days before MPs are set to vote on her proposed EU Withdrawal Agreement.

Veteran Eurosceptic John Redwood's knighthood has been branded "desperate"
Credit: 
PA

Mr Redwood was given the accolade in the new year's honours. He has been a vocal critic of the deal proposed by the Prime Minister.

On Thursday, he described the deal as "an unbelievably bad Agreement for the UK and a great one for the EU". 

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On Friday, he published a list of "12 big wins from leaving in March on WTO terms". He had previously written in The House magazine that “the prime minister has offered us a withdrawal agreement, not a deal".

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran told the Guardian that she could not see the appointment as "anything but a desperate attempt to blunt criticism of the prime minister’s Brexit deal". 

“All this does is erode trust in politics. Knights of the realm are meant to represent the best of being British, not backstabbing Brexit extremists like John Redwood,” Ms Moran added.

Elsewhere, another prominent Eurosceptic, Sir Edward Leigh, was appointed to the privy council, the largely symbolic committee of senior MPs who are referred to as "Right Honourable".

Yesterday's announcements came just over a month after another prominent Eurosceptic Tory MP, John Hayes was awarded a Knighthood by the PM.

Labour party chairman Ian Lavery said: “It is insulting to those who make invaluable contributions to society that the Tories for years have continued to use the honours system to award their own Conservative grandees and party donors.”

Mr Redwood has been the MP for the Berkshire constituency of Wokingham since 1987 and was appointed Wales Secretary by Sir John Major in 1993. In 1995 he challenged the Prime Minister for the Tory party leadership in a clash over Europe. 

He was one of three MPs recognised in the new year's honours. The others are Conservative MP for South West Devon, Gary Streeter, and Labour's Deputy Chief Whip and MP for Tynemouth and Alan Campbell.