There’s no fowl like an old fowl

Com­edy coat of arms for Brexit lap­dog as he’s slammed by an­gry col­league

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News - Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor Jo Stevens and Chris Mathe­son

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

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