Knighthood won’t affect vote – Sir John
A LEADING Brexiteer and former Secretary of State for Wales has insisted that his knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list will have “no bearing whatsoever” on his intention to vote against Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement.
Supporters of a second EU referendum accused Mrs May of using the honours system to try to buy support for her Brexit deal ahead of next month’s crucial House of Commons vote.
But John Redwood dismissed the charge as “an obvious untruth”, and said that no suggestion had been made to him that he should change his stance in return for a gong.
Sir John was among three MPs awarded knighthoods, alongside Conservative former minister Gary Streeter and Labour’s deputy chief whip Alan Campbell.
A leading supporter of the Best for Britain campaign for a second referendum, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, said the announcement brought “dishonour” on the honours system.
“I cannot see how it is anything but a desperate attempt to blunt criticism of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal by dangling a knighthood or two in front of MPs,” said Ms Moran.
“Knights of the realm are meant to represent the best of being British, not backstabbing Brexit extremists like John Redwood. It just shows how weak Theresa May is that she is seen to be rewarding him for his behaviour.”
And Scottish National Party MP Brendan O’Hara said: “Theresa May’s blatant abuse of the honours system is clear, as she continues offering grubby inducements to MPs in an attempt to persuade them to vote for her deal.”
But Sir John told Sky News: “It has no bearing whatsoever on my view of the Withdrawal Agreement. Today, as before I was offered the honour, I think the Withdrawal Agreement as a very unwise choice for the UK and so, with regret, I can’t vote for it.”