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John Hayes: Honoured – or bribed? Anyone with an ounce of integrity would reject a knighthood offered under these conditions.

It isn’t time for the Birthday or New Year Honours, so why is Theresa May suddenly flinging knighthoods around like there’s no tomorrow?

The answer should be obvious.

She knows there will be no tomorrow – for her – if she doesn’t buy some loyalty.

And she sure as blazes won’t be spending any of her own money on it!

So here’s what she has done:

No, but he is a Brexiter who is critical of the deal and he has demanded that Mrs May “look again” at her Brexit deal, saying he could not support her plans for the Northern Irish border. But – perhaps crucially – he hasn’t submitted a formal letter of “no confidence” in Mrs May’s leadership yet.

It seems clear that the out-of-the-blue honour has been granted, not because Mr Hayes spent 18 years on the Tory front bench (he became a backbencher again in January), but because Mrs May hopes it will influence him, and Tory MPs with similar views, to support her.

And here are some of the responses:

David Schneider suggested this was the “Best Black Friday deal yet. A knighthood going for just 1 vote.”

Aaron Bastani stated that this was “Banana republic stuff. Just without the good weather.”

Channel 4 News reporter Michael Crick tweeted: “Normally MPs would have to wait til the next honours list for such things, but in the present circumstances, Hayes presumably knew Theresa May couldn’t guarantee how long she’d be around to make good of such a promise. So it’s payment now.”

To this, Owen Jones responded simply: “This is so corrupt.”

The Labour Press Team quoted Chester MP Chris Matheson: “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.”

Botched is the word, for sure. Consider Eoin Clarke’s (Tory Fibs) discussion of the current situation, below:

It is no great leap from this to Carole Hawkins’s conclusion:

But Paul Mason still has hope:

If you are a UK citizen and you still think there is any hope of dragging the nation away from the precipice, I strongly suggest you give his advice a try.

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