When writing up the smaller-than-anticipated reshuffle which followed Dominic Raab and Esther McVey’s departure from the Cabinet, we noted that the Prime Minister seemed to have opted against using the attendant patronage to try to shore up wavering backbenchers.
Doubtless it would be unfair to attribute her decision to award a knighthood to the Rt. Hon. Member for South Holland and the Deepings to such motivations. John Hayes is a Conservative MP of more than 20 years’ service, during which time he has held five ministerial briefs – most recently at Transport – in addition to numerous positions in the Shadow Cabinet. He has also earned respect on both sides of the House.
Nonetheless, the timing at least appears to stand in the long tradition of carrot and stick tactics employed by embattled governments when frought votes are in the offing. Hayes can probably expect his intentions to come under a degree of scrutiny in the coming weeks.
Additionally, Theresa May has appointed two new members of the Privy Council. Christopher Pincher is MP for Tamworth and Deputy Chief Whip, and Mark Tami is the Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside.