By Matthew Barrett
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The 301 group is perhaps the most active and important group of backbench Tory MPs. Tim Montgomerie reported last week that three MPs - Charlie Elphicke, George Hollingbery and Priti Patel - want to organise a candidate to be elected to the 1922 Committee's executive who will give the '22 a focus on policy and campaigning. The Spectator's James Forsyth blogged that "The vote for their candidate, and his opponent, will give us the best idea yet of where the backbenches are at the moment politically. Indeed, I expect that the machinery of the 301 group, the most pro-Cameron of all the backbench groups, will be thrown behind the Elphicke-Hollingbery-Patel slate."
To organise or endorse candidates for the '22 is certainly the most power a backbench group has yet wielded in this Parliament. In this profile, I'll be looking at the origins, members, aims and plans of the group to get a sense of what the group wants to campaign for.
Origins of the group
The 301 was first organised by Kris Hopkins (Keighley), a former soldier and leader of Bradford Council, and Jessica Lee (Erewash), a former barrister, and now Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve. The group began with small meetings of a handful of MPs who were "concerned that the narrative in Parliament was not representative of the conversation" that MPs had had with the electorate while campaigning during the 2010 general election, and also dissatisfied with the fact that the mechanisms of debate amongst backbenchers, and between the back and front benches, were not conducive to trying to correct that narrative. Each of those attending brought a friend, and so on, until after three meetings the group reached 60 members.
Friday, April 20, 2012 in Alec Shelbrooke MP, Alok Sharma, Amber Rudd MP, Andrew Jones MP, Andrew Selous MP, Angie Bray MP, Bob Blackman MP, Charlie Elphicke MP, Chris Kelly MP, Claire Perry MP, Damian Collins MP, Damian Hinds MP, Daniel Poulter MP, Dominic Grieve, Dominic Grieve MP, Gavin Barwell MP, George Hollingbery MP, Graham Brady MP, Graham Evans MP, Heather Wheeler MP, Iain Stewart MP, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, James Morris MP, Jeremy Lefroy MP, Jessica Lee MP, John Howell MP, Karl McCartney MP, Kris Hopkins MP, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Laura Sandys MP, Lee Scott MP, Marcus Jones MP, Margot James MP, Matthew Hancock MP, Michael Gove MP, Nick Boles, Nick Boles MP, Nicky Morgan MP, Oliver Colvile MP, Paul Maynard MP, Paul Uppal MP, Peter Aldous MP, Priti Patel MP, Robert Buckland MP, Robert Halfon MP, Robert Syms MP, Rory Stewart MP, Sarah Newton MP, Simon Kirby MP, Sir Michael Spicer MP, Steve Brine MP, Tory MPs Groups | Permalink | Comments
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