Julian Lewis Pulls Ahead in Defence Select Committee Bunfight
Old Etonian Baggage Hampering Rory Stewart

It’s fitting that the race to become the next chairman of the Defence Select Committee is shaping up to be a bruising battle. The vote to find a Tory replacement for outgoing James Arbuthnot is still two months away, but already blows are being traded.

Plucky backbencher Rory Stewart has the expertise as a former Deputy Governor of a region of Iraq after the 2003 invasion, but many colleagues are loathe to award a plum job to yet another Old Etonian. While Colonel Bob Stewart’s credentials are obvious, his “another gin and tonic?” club style has put colleagues off the one-time frontrunner.

Now a new candidate has emerged: Bercow’s campaign manager Julian Lewis. A strong campaigner against CND hippies before becoming an MP, Lewis is one of the loudest voices for keeping our Trident nuclear deterrent. His voting with Miliband against intervening in Syria last summer is earning him plenty of crucial support from Labour MPs.

Gentleman, you can’t fight in here, this is the war room…



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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