Quoted in the Daily Mail, Lord Tebbit leads Tory concern at Gordon Brown’s decision to award American Senator Ted Kennedy with an honorary knighthood:

"Edward Kennedy may never have said outwardly he supported the IRA but he certainly leaned towards extreme Republicanism. He was certainly no friend of the UK. This honour is wholly inappropriate on the basis of the sleaze attached to him after the crash at Chappaquiddick, let alone his support for nationalism in Northern Ireland. It cheapens the whole honours system."

In the same newspaper Andrew Roberts agrees:

"For it is no exaggeration to say that Ted Kennedy did his damnedest to poison U.S.-UK relations over Ulster during the long decades in which he has castigated successive British governments. Rather than expressing any genuine commitment to peace in Northern Ireland, he would always play exclusively to his own Catholic-Irish voters in Massachusetts, whom he has represented in the Senate for more than 46 years."

Michael Ancram and Ann Widdecombe are also said to be disappointed although long-term Kennedy admirer, Simon Burns MP, will be sure to welcome the decision.

10.45am Statement from Michael Ancram MP: "I find it extraordinarily inappropriate that Ted Kennedy who was the champion of Irish nationalism and the opponent of unionism as well as a supporter of republicanism should be so honoured for his unhelpful one-sidedness in the Peace Process when others like Senator George Mitchell who went out of his way to be even-handed between both sides is not.  But then under this Government so much else is upside down and perverse as well."