Knight­hood won’t af­fect vote – Sir John

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

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.”

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