1922 Committee Elections Set for Before Summer Recess

This morning The Times reported that the forthcoming 1922 Committee election is being seen as a “proxy leadership election” on Boris Johnson, given the outcome could decide whether or not the committee changes rules to allow a second confidence vote inside the current 12-month safety period. The paper said the elections for the 18 MPs who make up the executive are due to take place “soon”. Guido understands figures expect the election to be held within the next month, ahead of the Summer recess. 

Last year, Chairman Graham Brady was challenged by PM loyalist Heather Wheeler. While Brady won, and the voting figures were never released, it was claimed the result was “close”. It will be more difficult for the PM to find a loyalist to put up as a challenger to Brady this time, however, given the number of loyalists who have been promoted onto the government payroll over the last year. Wheeler herself is now a senior Cabinet Office minister; just last week her campaign manager for the last ’22 election, Selaine Saxby, was appointed a PPS to Simon Clarke in the Treasury. Given another reshuffle on the horizon; 148 MPs backing the vote of no confidence; and ministers not being allowed to vote; even if No. 10 could find a candidate they’d surely struggle to mount an effective campaign. 

If Brady doesn’t face a challenge from a Boris loyalist, there’s also the possibility that his denial of plans to change the rules could provoke a hard-line Boris opponent to run on a platform of allowing rule changes. A member of the committee – not someone entirely loyal towards the PM – told Guido that “most people” they’ve spoken to, even those who voted against him on June 6th, think it would be wrong to change the rules, as it would be “incredibly divisive and unnecessary”…

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Graham Brady Re-Elected Chairman of the ’22

Sir Graham says “It is a privilege to have been re-elected as Chairman of the 1922 Committee after 11 years serving the parliamentary Conservative Party. I am grateful to my colleagues for this vote of confidence”. He saw off a challenge from Heather Wheeler who, perhaps unfairly, was portrayed as the government’s patsy…

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Robert Goodwill Stands Down from 1922 Election

Guido’s just been forwarded this letter from Goodwill, doing the rounds with MPs, in which he explains he has spoken at length with Heather Wheeler regarding the 1922 executive’s decision not to have a run-off vote in the election. To avoid splitting the vote, he has announced he will stand aside in her favour. Quite a gesture of goodwill…

In the letter he thanks supporters – especially noting the 2019 intake backers – and wishes Wheeler luck:

“Having spoken at length with Heather, I have reluctantly decided to stand aside in her favour to give her a clear run for the Chairmanship. This means that whoever finally wins will command the support of a majority of colleagues.

If Heather is, as I hope, successful, I Intend to put my name forward for one of the Vice Chair positions and I look forward to working with her in that role.”

Brady will have to pull his finger out now and start campaigning properly

Read Goodwill’s letter in full:

Read More

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2019 Intake Complain Brady’s Complacent

Guido hears from multiple Tory sources that Graham Brady has taken his foot off the pedal in his re-election campaign for the 1922 Committee chairmanship. Although Brady is still the odds on favourite, the feeling amongst some of the 2019 intake is that he hasn’t made much of an effort to reach out to them; one MP claims “he hasn’t made a single communication”, with another saying “Graham has always been quite distant”. Only two of the MPs Guido spoke to confirmed they’d heard anything at all from Brady. He’d initially expected to walk it, so the mood on the ground is that he’s getting complacent…

His opponents Robert Goodwill and Heather Wheeler, meanwhile, have reportedly been making the rounds amongst the back benches in the last few weeks. Several MPs tell Guido that they’ve been contacted personally by at least one of the two challengers, with one claiming that Wheeler might even be within a shot of winning if the election goes to a run-off. Though Guido would take that with a sack of sodium chloride. Brady’s been in Parliament since 1997, MPs might be gearing up for a change…


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Heather Wheeler Throws Hat in for ’22

Heather Wheeler is putting her name forward to stand as Chairman of the 1922 Committee. The right-winger and early Brexit backer has emailed fellow Tory MPs to tell them whilst she thanks “Sir Graham for his leadership over the last 11 years but feel that the time is right for a change.  The Parliamentary Party has altered over those 11 years and a new Chairman should be approachable, meeting and talking with Backbenchers, and, without fear or favour, talk candidly to the top echelons of our Party.” She joins Robert Goodwill in challenging for the backbench Tory trade union

The three-way race now has candidates from the 2005 intake and the 2010 intake up against Graham Brady, who was first elected in 1997. Could this be a change election?

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First MP Caught Swearing During Virtual Commons

We’ve already had one incident in the Welsh Assembly, however it took around twenty days for the first virtual breaking of Commons rules. The crown goes to Tory MP Heather Wheeler whose technological exasperation got the better of her, muttering an audible “oh f***ing hell” mid-question. She somehow avoided a telling off by the speaker…

Hat-tip: @LewisMcKenzie94

UPDATE: Regrettably Hansard decided not to include the f-word faux pas

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