Kearns wins with 241 votes in the final round. Here’s the full breakdown…
Kearns – 199
Fox – 135
Duncan Smith – 78
Graham – 46 (eliminated)
Kearns – 217 (+18)
Fox – 150 (+15)
Duncan Smith – 85 (+7) (eliminated)
Kearns – 241 (+24)
Fox – 200 (+50)
A major coup for a 2019-er…
The race for the Foreign Affairs Committee Chairmanship ends this afternoon, and by the looks of things a good number of MPs will be glad when it’s over. A parliamentary co-conspirator sent Guido this picture, taken outside the offices of the SNP’s Dr Philippa Whitford and Joanna Cherry. They’ve finally had enough, and stuck up a notice gently asking colleagues to stop bothering them so much:
“We have received a sufficient number of leaflets regarding the forthcoming election of the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Thank you.”
Apparently Liam Fox sent three flyers in one day, while Iain Duncan Smith personally posted flyers to every office in PCH this morning. This might end up being a waste of paper anyway: the word in parliament is Alicia Kearns may be about to pull off a surprise victory…
Guido can reveal a sixth Tory MP is putting their hat in the ring to chair the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, following the vacancy created by Tom Tugendhat’s promotion. Richard Graham, the MP for Gloucester, is joining Liam Fox, IDS, Alicia Kearns, Henry Smith and John Baron in the race – albeit at a significantly later starting date than his five competitors.
Richard Graham is campaigning on four points, the third of which is certain to raise eyebrows among Tory MPs:
A source close to one of the candidates revealed lots of SNP MPs are set to back Alicia Kearns, and no doubt many Labour MPs will also be putting her as first preference, meaning it’s likely she will be in the final two with either IDS or Liam Fox. Nominations close tomorrow and the vote’s on Wednesday…
While most politicking has been put on pause for the moment, it seems life goes on for some career-hungry MPs. The elevation of Tom Tugendhat to Security Minister means a prize vacancy as chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee is up for grabs; immediately Tory grandees Liam Fox and IDS announced they’d be putting themselves forward. Guido understands their campaigns have been paused in light of the Queen’s death…
The underdog in the race is Alicia Kearns, a 2019 vintage Tory MP, who’s shown a keen interest in foreign affairs since entering parliament three years ago, as well as serving on the committee for the past two years. Unlike IDS and Fox, however, Alicia can’t afford to campaign on name recognition alone. Today in PCH according to a co-conspirator she was holding court lobbying passing MPs, Guido’s co-conspirator spotted Damian Hinds and Daniel Kawczynski getting their ears bent, despite the campaign halt while we mourn Her Majesty. No rest for the wicked…
After turning down Liz Truss’s offer to join the Cabinet as Leader of the House of Commons, Iain Duncan Smith has announced a new career ambition. Following the appointment of Tom Tugendhat to the Cabinet as Security Minister, IDS is planning to run for the now-vacant chairmanship of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Speaking on LBC this morning the former Tory leader confirmed overnight reports by Steerpike and Politico that he’ll be going for the job:
“I am actually seriously thinking about standing for that, so there you have a first.”
IDS also claims he turned down the offer of Leader of the House because he felt it was not something to which he “could add any particular value”, leaving the job open for Penny Mordaunt instead.
Politico reports that Liam Fox will also be running, with the backing of DEFRA Committee Chair Robert Goodwill and former Trade Minister Mark Garnier. The additional chairman’s salary of £16,422 is not to be sniffed at during these trying economic times…
Jacob Rees-Mogg has publicly criticised Germany’s refusal to allow the UK to fly in their airspace to transport military aid to Ukraine. To Guido’s knowledge he is the first member of the government to do so publicly:
“The divisions within the west are quite serious, I mean it’s extraordinary that Germany would not allow British flights to fly over German territory to take some weapons to the Ukrainians”
This is far from the line the government’s taken thus far. At Lobby last week, the PM’s spokesperson was at pains to deny any diplomatic tensions, claiming reports Germany denied a request by the UK were “not accurate”. Press were told the UK hadn’t made a request in the first place. It was immediately pointed out the UK hadn’t made such a request because it would inevitably be rejected.
Ben Wallace almost sounded like he was defending Germany at the foreign affairs committee yesterday:
“I also want to put on the record that there’s alot of speculation about the German air route.
When we were planning the deploymentof lethal aid to Ukraine,obviously we needed to do that with asignificant amount of operational security,and therefore the timelines were tight when we decidedthat we had to clear those routes and the German system,and the indication from my planners and the impressionI had was that the German systemwould take nearly two weeks to do, and therefore there was no point asking to do that.
We did not go and ask, they did not rebuff us.Yes, it is in the public domain that the Germans arevery against the use of lethal aid in Ukraine,and we obviously have a different opinion,which is why we have done that, but no,there was no ‘we asked and you rebutted’. That is not correct.
We wanted the quickest way – I don’t mean in geography,but in clearances in order to get the weapon systems into Ukraine.”
Once again it seems a case of Rees-Mogg abandoning the official government line, though speaking total sense…