Conservative Diary

« The three types of swing | Main | Tories will give the public power to sack MPs mid-term »

A third candidate to enter the fray for the 1922 Committee chairmanship

SOAMES NICHOLAS About six weeks ago I noted that the contest to become chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers in the new Parliament looked set to be a contest between Richard Ottaway and Graham Brady.

I also recorded that the Committee had reaffirmed that only Tory backbenchers (and no ministers) would be able to vote in the contest in the event of the Conservatives being in government.

Today I can reveal that a third candidate will enter the fray: Nicholas Soames, the former armed forces minister and grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, who will be seeking re-election next month as MP for Mid Sussex.

He has told friends that intends to put his name forward - although he will not be running an especially active campaign as such; he will stand as a "traditionalist" candidate and set out his stall in a letter to colleagues when the time comes for the contest.

The outgoing 1922 Committee chairman, Sir Michael Spicer, hes confirmed to me that the rules for conducting the election state that there must be exhaustive ballots in the event of a contest between more than two people and no candidate securing a majority of the vote in the first round. In other words, with three candidates standing, if the candidate with the most votes on the initial ballot has not secured 50% + 1 of the vote, the candidate in third place drops out and a decisive second ballot between the top two candidates must take place.

Jonathan Isaby


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.