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Establishment figures receive gongs

THERESA MAY dishes out gongs and grand titles to a string of Establishment figures in the Prime Minister's New Year Honours announced today.

Key Tory powerbroker Graham Brady, regarded as the voice of the party’s backbenchers at Westminster, has been given a knighthood.

He chairs the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers.

Two other members of the 1922 Committee executive are also honoured, with vice-chairwoman Cheryl Gillan being made a dame while treasurer Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is knighted.

All three backed a Leave vote in Brexit referendum, as did a fourth Conservative MP to be honoured, veteran former minister Christopher Chope, who receives a knighthood.

Their awards may be seen, in part, as offsetting the knighthood for former deputy prime minister and prominent Remainiac Nick Clegg, who lost his seat at the last election in a delayed punishment for five years helping to push through Tory cuts and privatisations including the Health and Social Care Act and the sell-off of Royal Mail.

At the same time, two Barbadian trade unionists , Linda Brooks and Cedric Murrell, are honoured with the OBE for services to the labour movement.

This year also sees a number of anti-Establishment artists receive awards.

Accepting an MBE for services to music, Grime musician Wiley said: “It feels like the school grade I wanted and didn’t get but now I’m finally there.”

Another key figure from the grime world, Grace Ladoja, picks up an OBE for services to music.

She manages grime star Skepta, who appeared to hint in recent song Hypocrisy that he had “rejected” an MBE.

Marc Almond, the singer-songwriter of Soft Cell fame, accepted an OBE for services to arts and culture despite saying that he is “a little bit” anti-Establishment.

“I can’t really be a rebel any more,” he claimed.

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