THERESA May was last night accused of rank hypocrisy as she sprayed gongs to an army of former cronies and aides in a ‘resignation honours’.
Three years after saying David Cameron’s own list made her “retch”, Mrs May gave ex-chief of staff Gavin Barwell a peerage and knighted Olly Robbins, her controversial Brexit negotiator.
She also knighted ex-spin doctor Robbie Gibb and awarded honours to other aides such as Nick Timothy, Fiona Hill – who both left after the dire 2017 Election campaign – Joanna ‘JoJo’ Penn and Richard Jackson.
Tory MPs branded it a staggering “reward for failure” given Mrs May’s Brexit deal was voted down three times in the Commons in a series of historical – and humiliating defeats.
Mrs May’s deputy PM David Lidington was knighted as was her parliamentary private secretary George Hollingberry.
One MP told The Sun: “It’s stomach-churning that so many people who not only failed the PM but failed the country are now getting these honours.
“It totally debases the Honours system.
“And it’s basically showing two fingers to the 17.4 million who voted Brexit.”
And last night Labour panned the ex-PM for honouring Tory party treasurer Ehud Sheleg and vice-chair David Bronlow – who both got peerages.
They claimed the pair had donated more than £6million to the party between them.
In other awards, Sir Kim Darroch, the US ambassador panned by Donald Trump, becomes a crossbench peer.
And John Mann, the ex-Labour MP who worked with Downing Street to encourage Labour MPs to back the Brexit deal, is also given a peerage.
Theresa May also honoured Graham Howarth, the head chef at the Prime Minister’s Chequers residence, and Debra Wheatley, the Downing Street housekeeper, with British Empire Medals.
And Met Police chief Cressida Dick was knighted.
In all, 41 people received gongs – from knighthoods to MBEs – and Mrs May created eight Tory peers.
David Cameron sparked uproar in 2016 after rewarding ex-Chancellor George Osborne, his spin doctor Craig Oliver and Isabel Spearman, Samantha Cameron’s stylist. At the time, Theresa May insisted she would take a different approach.
She vowed: “We want an honours system that actually ensures we can recognise when people out there are really contributing to our society and to their communities.
She then mocked Craig Oliver when receiving a prize for ‘Politician of the Year’ at a 2016 awards ceremony.
Referring to his revelation that the Brexit vote in the referendum had made him “retch”, Mrs May quipped: “Most of us know that feeling, like when we saw his name on the resignation honours list.”
A source close to the ex-PM last night insisted the list “recognises the many different people who have made a significant contribution to public life during Theresa May’s political career.”
The source added: “It includes not only members of the civil service, civic society, the NHS and the sporting world. It also recognises people from all four nations of the United Kingdom.”
OLLY ROBBINS OUTRAGE
Brexiteers last night said the knighthood for Olly Robbins defied belief – and was another sign of the ‘Remain’ bias of Mrs May’s administration.
Mr Robbins was accused throughout Brexit negotiations under the former PM of masterminding a soft Brexit tying Britain to the EU.
Last night one senior Brexiteer said Sir Oliver should instead have been given the French government’s highest honour.
“I would have thought a Legion d’honneur would have been more appropriate for his services to the European Union,” the Tory MP said.
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But Mrs May was DEFENDED last night by Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, who insisted Mrs May had shown “restraint”.
He said Theresa May’s resignation honours list was “substantially smaller than similar political resignation lists drawn up by previous Prime Ministers”.
In other ‘gongs’, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gave peerages to Christine Blower, the ex-general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.
GEOFFREY Boycott’s marathon wait for a knighthood ended last night as Theresa May honoured her “hero”.
The ex-England opener, 78, got a gong for services to sport. Ex-skipper Andrew Strauss is also knighted.
Boycott was allegedly previously denied a gong due to an assault conviction in the 1990s.
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