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

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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