Liaison Committee Chair: Runners & Riders
Hallelujah, Sarah Wollaston is out. Guido’s just about finished celebrating and realised this leaves a hole at the top of one of Parliament’s most important select committees. Boris dodged his last Liaison Committee appearance and whether or not he can get out of another one, House of Commons rules mean a new scrutiniser-in-chief is required within a month of the general election, and according to the Hansard Society are “traditionally members of a/the governing party, experienced select committee members or (since 2010 serving) chairs, and male.” Guido brings you the runners and riders:
- Bill Cash – Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee for 9 years. Loved by Brexiteers, hated by remainers; luckily for Cash there’s a lot more of them in Parliament now, unfortunately the committee may conspire to block
- Damian Collins – Chair of the DCMS Committee for 3 years. Cadwalladr’s pick for the role and overt anti-Vote Leave man, although he did back Boris so a streak of careerism remains. Might prove one of the less friendly opponents Boris could face.
- David T.C. Davies – Chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee for 9 years. Staunch Eurosceptic. Given Boris’s victory in Wales he could appreciate the renewed focus, but the loss of Alun Cairns before the election could make for a sticky issue
- Robert Halfon – Chair of the Education Committee for only 2 years. Former Minister without Portfolio and Deputy Chair of the Tory Party. Once described by George Osborne as the most expensive backbencher in Parliament. Independent-mindedness is often a positive attribute so could be a popular choice despite his limited select committee career.
- Sir Bernard Jenkin – Chair of the Constitution Committee for 9 years. As we come out of the most testing time in British politics for our constitution, Bernard’s active role in sticking it to Bercow amongst others has been prominent. A famous Brexiteer, but younger and more active than Cash.
- Julian Lewis – Chair of the Defence Committee for 4 years. Another Spartan Brexiteer and described by the Telegraph as “one of the most vigorous rightwingers in the Commons”. Could be seen as the dinosaur candidate due to his opposition to LGBT education and refusal to use email.
- Maria Miller – Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee for 4 years. The only woman on our list, so perhaps MPs will want to continue with Wollaston’s break from tradition in tearing down barriers. She’s also one of the few remainers, however backed Raab for Tory leader.
- Bob Neil – Chair of the Justice Select Committee for 4 years. There are already rumblings about Boris’s plans for reform of the courts that could prove to be contentious, so he could play a big role over the coming parliament anyhow
- Tom Tugendhat – Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee for 2 years. Big name, pretty popular. Young, former military – very strong case to put forward.
- Charles Walker – Chair of the Procedure Committee for 7 years. Also chairman of the 1922 committee. Big Mayite so maybe not the homme de jour of the Boris brigade.
- Neil Parish – Chair of the DEFRA Committee for 4 years.
Bear in mind the selectorate is made up of the electorate…
UPDATE: A co-conspirator points out David T.C. Davies is out of the running after being made a minister