The new Parliament of 2010 has begun; but it is by no means business as usual. The reality of a coalition Conservative/Lib Dem Government imposes policy compromises. Both Parties now have to support some things that weren’t in their manifesto and drop some undertakings that were. Of course there is some disquiet, but the deal is done.
But through the 1922 Committee, backbench voices can be heard. I am standing for election as Chairman of the Committee.
The 1922 Committee is at the heart of the Conservative Parliamentary Party. It is the forum in which debate and disagreement can take place in private rather than in front of the cameras on College Green. It serves as a sounding board for criticism and new ideas and each member is equally entitled to be heard. From the meetings of the Committee the officers take the views expressed to the leadership of the Party. Between meetings the Chairman’s antennae will pick up rumbles of disquiet or dissatisfaction among colleagues. This is when informal consultation will be appropriate and good judgement needed in deciding how best to proceed. It is often helpful for views to be aired and shared rather than suppressed.