Defence Select Committee Chair: Rory Stewart v Julian Lewis

The vote to decide the Defence Select Committee chairmanship is a week away on May 14, Guido understands Rory Stewart and Julian Lewis are the two frontrunners. Both men are attracting support from Labour ahead of their hustings. Stewart needs to win more Labour votes because support is lacking from Tory colleagues, wary of awarding a plum job to another Old Etonian and do not forgive him for missing the Syria recall vote. He is also seen as too much of an eager beaver by some in the Tory 2010 intake. Lewis meanwhile is a staunch campaigner for keeping the Trident nuclear deterrent yet is drawing high profile Labour support from voting with Miliband on Syria. Hague’s PPS Keith Simpson has briefed the Indy that he was in the lead, in a revelation yet to be picked up by other newspapers.

Julian Brazier and Bob Stewart are the other names being pushed to Guido, though colleagues suggest that they both lack the numbers. Crispin Blunt, Tobias Elwood and James Gray are also running. Presumably for a laugh.

In other select committee news, Tory MP Steve ‘sound as a pound’ Baker has been elected onto the Treasury select committee, beating ultra-loyalist Mary “Maria would appreciate your support” Macleod to the position. The Austrians are coming…




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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