Here's the cleverest PR move Theresa May could pull in 2017

After the furore over David Cameron's resignation honours, the controversial peerage for Shami Chakrabarti and the disaffection towards the establishment, the New Years Honours List offers the chance for a new era of political patronage to be introduced by Mrs May.

Mrs May should choose who to honour very carefully in light of previous debacles, argues Luke Pollard
Mrs May should choose who to honour very carefully in light of previous debacles, argues Luke Pollard

The wise move for Theresa May would be to shun all knighthoods, gongs and peerages for politicos in their entirety and let this set of honours be a true celebration of Britain at its glorious best. 

Let the New Year Honours List solely be about long-serving dinner ladies, hero firefighters, brave soldiers and sailors, a sprinkling of celebrities and retiring athletes but not a single politician or special adviser. 


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The Commons does not need any more Sirs or Dames. The Lords is stuffed to the rafters and is still growing at an alarming pace. 

The people are angry and they’re turning to more extreme and simplistic proponents for long-overdue change. 

Brexit, Trump, Corbyn and Le Pen are all part of the same global political groundswell. 

The rejection of the political classes and their embellishments is the sentiment of the day and it shows no sign of abating. 

Even the Daily Mail trumpets the fall of the elites without a hint of irony. In such uncertain times, the Prime Minister should put a red line through any political names in the honours list. 

With a reduced and painfully slim majority, shunning honours for her political chums or gongs for those who supported her on her way up rules out options she may need. 

But she should do it regardless. 

It is not hard to sense the mood of the body politic. In tough and uncertain times, it is the PM’s role to offer leadership and direction. 

The PM should start 2017 with an honours list not infected or overshadowed by the vile stench of patronage and favours returned. 

She should bask in the glory of a well-executed departure from the scandals of Blair, Brown and Cameron. 

Truly great Prime Ministers turn traps into advantages. 

The New Years Honours list should be a political triumph for the PM if she is bold and courageous. I hope she is.  

Luke Pollard is a director at Field Consulting and was the Labour and Co-operative parliamentary candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport at the 2015 General Election 

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