There’s no fowl like an old fowl
Comedy coat of arms for Brexit lapdog as he’s slammed by angry colleague
A Eurosceptic MPP knighted after backingg Theresa May’s Brexit plan an has been branded an n “ut ter c* * k rampant” and a “big chicken” by y a furious fellow ow Tory.
John Hayes was given the surprise honour on Fridayiday – after appearing to U- turnrn on his principles to supportt the Prime Min i s t e r ’ s f lou nder ing withdrawal agreement.ent.
In a sign of thee v icious i n f ight i ng cr ipplpl iingng tthehe Conservatives overr Europe, par t y col lea gue MarkMark Francois hasas now written to thehe new Sir to suggestt a coat of arms.
In a letter d r ippi ng w itit h sarcasm, he said: “As you have spent your entire careerer as a staunch Eurosceptic,c, I cannot adequately put into words, reallyeally I can’t John,hn, how much I think of whathat you have done for your country – and I am sure that many of your colleagues now feel absolutely the same.
“It’s entirely up to you but could I cheekily suggest a crest with an utter c** k rampant on one side and a big chicken on the other.” And to help Hayes with his new life as a knight, the Sunday Mail has created a coat of arms he can use any time he likes.
Francois – a Brexiteer who has called for a confidence vote in May – went on to say Hayes could write down his political principles “on the back of an old postage stamp”.
He added: “It is encouraging to note that, even now, after all these years in Parliament, you have not succumbed to the cynicism which sometimes affects colleagues.
“To this day, you still maintain an irreducible core of passionate political principles, which I understand you now keep jotted down on the back of an old postage stamp, as an ideological aide memoire.
“I should mention in passing, and just between us, that some colleagues are unkindly suggesting that this award is a sign of absolute desperation by a Government which has effectively abandoned Brexit…to the extent that it is now reduced to handing out knighthoods to malleable colleagues.
“However, do not be alarmed John, your colleagues have known you for many years and we know you are made of sterner stuff than that.
“All that quoting Plato, Socrates and Cicero in the Chamber down the years was for a higher purpose after all.”
Confirming that he was the sender of the letter, Francois later said: “When Gerald Howarth was knighted or when John Randall was knighted there were tons and tons of messages of congratulations.
“I haven’t seen one single colleague come up and say, ‘ Well done, Sir John’.”
Labour MP Jo Stevens said: “This stinks of cronyism. It seems that to pass their unpopular Brexit deal, the Government are willing to hand out knighthoods left, right and centre.”
Shadow cabinet off ice minister Chris Matheson said: “It would be a spectacular act of desperation for Theresa May to be giving away knighthoods in a bid to win votes for her botched Brexit deal.”
Hayes ser ved in a ser ies of ministerial roles f rom 2010 to January 2018, when he left his job at the Department for Transport as part of a reshuffle by May.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has insisted that the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is “the best compromise possible” ahead of an EU summit today.
European Council president Donald Tusk has recommended that the EU approve the deal.
Spain had threatened to miss the summit as a result of concerns over Gibraltar but has now received assurances on the issue.
But the real test for May will come when MPs are given a “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal agreement.
CONFLICT Theresa May with EC’s JeanClaude Juncker. Left, Francois
SUITS YOU, SIR John Hayes Picture Getty