Will Straw CBE Defends Receiving Honour For Running 'Losing' EU Referendum Campaign

'How fares the Empire under your command?'

Will Straw, the leader of the ‘Remain’ campaign in the EU referendum, has said he does not know why he was awarded an honour by David Cameron but will accept it so he can take his wife to Buckingham Palace.

The former prime minister has recommended Straw, who was director of Britain Stronger in Europe, for a CBE.

Labour MP Paul Flynn today questioned why Straw should receive an honour - given the ‘Remain’ campaign lost. How you’re enjoying your role as a Commander of the British Empire?” Flynn asked him sarcastically. “How fares the Empire under your command?”

Straw was appearing before the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee today to give evidence on how the referendum campaign was run.

He told Flynn: “I didn’t ask for the award. But when I was offered it I wasn’t going to turn it down. Not least because, as campaigners on both sides of this question and people engaged in politics are, away from my family for a lot of the campaign.”

“I wanted to have an occasion to take my wife to the Palace as we will be doing in the near future. And to have something to remember the hard work that I and others put into the campaign.”

He added: “I didn’t ask for any award. It’s down to those who gave them out to account for who they chose to give them too.”

Flynn asked: “This is a reward for the losing side, were the winning side showered with ermine and awards too?”

Straw, who was a Labour parliamentary candidate in 2010, told the Labour MP: “I don’t know why I was given the award. I didn’t ask for it.”

In his honours list, Cameron also awarded knighthoods to his communications director,Craig Oliver, and chief of staff Ed Llewellyn.