GRAHAM Brady, the MP for Altrincham and Sale West, said he is honoured to have been knighted in the New Year’s Honours list.

When elected in 1997, he was the youngest Conservative Member in the House and went on to become a Shadow Minister and then chairman of the prestigious 1922 committee.

He said: “My knighthood is a great honour. My family is thrilled. Some people like to sneer at politicians, but I believe that serving in Parliament is public service and I am proud to serve my constituents and country.”

When Sir Graham received the ‘sounding’ letter a few weeks ago, he told his immediate family, who managed to keep the secret.

“The funny thing is that the BBC started calling me Sir Graham just after the General Election. When I got letters of congratulation, I had to tell people that it wasn’t true,” he said.

He and his wife, Lady Victoria, would love the Queen to take the ceremony which, he hopes their two children can attend.

“Victoria rarely spends money on herself, but I think she will buy a new outfit for this occasion,” he said.

Sir Graham has enjoyed serving as chairman of the 1922 Committee since winning a contested election for the post in 2010. It serves all Conservative MPs who are not Ministers.

“Being Chairman of the ’22 gives considerable access to the Prime Minister and other senior ministers. It is demanding yet fulfilling but does require a lot of discretion.”

The bravest and most controversial step was when Sir Graham resigned as Shadow Minister for Europe in 2007 in order to defend the grammar school system.

“If I hadn’t taken a stance, I would have lost people’s respect and wouldn’t have been able to look myself in the mirror. I received huge support from constituents and Parliamentary colleagues.”

Regarding Brexit, Sir Graham said: “I am confident that in withdrawing from the European Union, we have done the right thing. In supporting it, I did what I believed to be right as I promised in the 2015 election. A record number of people voted for me then. That record was broken in this year’s election.”

Mr Richard Bliss, chairman of the Altrincham and Sale West Conservative Association, said:

“Sir Graham’s service to politics, his constituency and the party has been exemplary. We are honoured to have such a committed and highly respected MP representing Altrincham and Sale West.”