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The Prime Minister has been accused of a “shameless use of patronage” over the decision of who to appoint to the Privy Council.

It was announced on Friday that Theresa May appointed three Conservative MPs to the council.

The honour goes to former health minister Philip Dunne, former Public Accounts Committee chair Sir Edward Leigh and the head of the UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Sir Roger Gale.

Labour MP Virendra Sharma claimed the appointments were part of a “desperate” attempt by the Government to shore up support for the Prime Minister’s EU Withdrawal Agreement ahead of next month’s crucial vote in the Commons.

Eurosceptic Sir Edward has been an outspoken critic of Mrs May’s deal, and tabled an amendment calling for the termination of the agreement if the EU refuses to remove a “backstop” arrangement for the Irish border by the end of 2021.


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