One is a former Party leader; the other previously a Minister. One is Leaver; the other a Remainer. One holds a North London marginal seat; the other a South London “safe” constituency.
But what is most striking about these two dissimilar politicians, honoured in this New Year’s list – Iain Duncan Smith and Bob Neill – is that both are recently tamed rebels.
Duncan Smith supported Theresa May’s deal third time round, but opposed it on two previous occasions. The Public Whip shows ten rebellions by him during the last Parliamentary session but one, all EU-related.
Neill voted for the deal, but opposed the Government twelve times, including on a customs union, free movement and timetabling: again, all his revolts were EU-related.
These knighthoods carefully-calibrated balancing exercise that honours two rebels who have come home – from different ends of the Parliamentary Party.
In due course, we would expect Duncan Smith to go to the Lords. Here are the other Conservative political honours of which we are aware:
- Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green.
- Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chiselhurst.
- Andrew R T Davies, former leader of the Conservative in the Welsh Assembly.
- Laura Sandys, former MP for South Thanet.
- Gareth Fox, former head of candidates, CCHQ.
- Zoe Thorogood, former Conservative Party Chief of Staff.
- Saqib Bhatti, MP for Meriden.
- Jill Elson, former East Devon district councillor.
- Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, former Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Chippenham.
- Andrea Pull, Conservative Spring Lunch.
Full list of all honours here.