UK Politics

1922 committee and Tory MPs' contact details

Graham Brady
Image caption Mr Brady has served as the committee's chairman since 2010

The man in charge of overseeing the start of any Tory leadership election has asked the party's MPs for their contact details in case he needs to get in touch during the election campaign.

Graham Brady MP, chairman of the 1922 committee, wrote to hundreds of Conservative MPs on Wednesday.

The unusual move may be seen as a not-so-subtle reminder that David Cameron's future hangs in the balance on 7 May.

But a senior committee member insisted it was "good management".

Mr Brady, who chairs the committee of backbench Conservatives, said in his letter that he needed phone numbers and email addresses "in case I have to contact you during the campaign".

He also reminded his colleagues about the date for the committee's first post-election meeting, and a reception planned in Parliament to welcome new members.

'Grey suits'

David Cameron failed to win the 2010 election outright and any repetition of that this time round would likely lead to calls from some for him to stand down as leader.

But with the opinion polls suggesting no single party is likely to win an overall majority Mr Cameron could have more room for manoeuvre in the days after the result.

The days after the general election may also be a crucial time for Conservative MPs to consider their view of any new coalition agreement.

Image copyright Anonymous

Backbench Tories were not asked to approve - or oppose - the deal reached between Mr Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in May 2010.

It is likely some would push for far more influence this time round.

All Conservative MPs who are not ministers, or working for ministers, are represented by the 1922 Committee, which is there to hear and express their views.

The committee is often referred to as the "men in grey suits" who are charged with telling leaders it is time to go.

Under the current rules, a leadership contest would be triggered in two ways; if 15% of Tory MPs wrote to the committee chairman saying they no longer had confidence in David Cameron, or if he resigned.

MP' would then vote to choose two candidates, who would go forward to a final ballot of all Conservative Party members.

Prior to a rule change by former party leader William Hague, it was only MPs who had the right to choose the leader.

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