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New faces elected on to influential Conservative 1922 committee

image captionGraham Brady MP was re-elected unopposed as chairman of the 1922 committee on Tuesday

Conservative backbenchers have elected the new executive body of their influential 1922 committee.

Among the MPs voted onto the committee include several elected for the first time in 2010 and regarded as being more loyal to the party leadership.

Longer-serving MPs Peter Bone and Christopher Chope, regular critics of the coalition, were voted off.

The 1922 committee is a forum for MPs to connect with the leadership and is seen as a barometer of party opinion.

The "301 Group" of newer MPs caused friction in the run-up to the ballot by fielding a "slate" of candidates in an attempt replace the "old guard".

The group - so named because it represents the number of MPs the Conservatives need to win if they are to secure an overall majority at the next election - are broadly supportive of the leadership and feel the committee needs modernisation.

They were hoping to win seats from more traditional members of the current committee, some of whom who have been outspoken against the government.

MPs backed by the 301 Group who were elected included: Guto Bebb, George Eustice, Graham Evans, George Hollingbery, Simon Kirby, Penny Mordaunt, Sheryll Murray and Priti Patel.

'Fix claim'

Bernard Jenkin and Robert Halfon were among the incumbents not associated with the 301 Group who were re-elected.

However, Mr Chope failed in his attempt to be re-elected as one of the committee secretaries, losing out to Karen Bradley, who was on the 301 slate, and Nick de Bois, who was not. One of the previous secretaries, Mark Pritchard, stood down before the contest.

In advance of the election, Mr Pritchard said Downing Street "should spend more time trying to fix the economy and less time trying to fix the 1922 elections".

Chairman of the 1922 Graham Brady was re-elected unopposed on Tuesday, along with Vice-chairmen Charles Walker and John Whittingdale and treasurer Brian Binley.

When in government, only backbench Conservative MPs are allowed to vote in 1922 elections. 229 MPs were eligible to vote in Wednesday's poll.

Backbench business

Conservative MPs also voted on their representatives on the Commons backbench business committee, which has the power to choose the subject for debate in the Commons on at least 27 days in each parliamentary session.

Veteran Tories Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone were ousted as the party voted to allocate its four seats on the committee to David Amess, Bob Blackman, Jane Ellison and Marcus Jones.

Confirmation that Labour MP Natascha Engel had been re-elected unopposed as chair of the committee was announced in the Commons on Wednesday.

Leader of the House and Conservative MP Sir George Young declared that MPs had given Ms Engel a "unanimous vote of confidence".

More on this story

  • Battle for the 1922 exposes Conservative frustrations and divisions