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Wiggin to challenge Brady for the Chairmanship of the 1922 Committee

A contest is to take place for the Chairmanship of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers.

The incumbent, Sir Graham Brady, is being challenged by Bill Wiggin.

There is also a contest for two secretaries – with three candidates standing: Bob Blackman, Pauline Latham, William Wragg. The Vice-Chairmen have been elected unopposed, as has the Treasurer.

These are Cheryl Gillan and Charles Walker, and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

The Executive is uncontested, as follows: Bernard Jenkin, Karl McCartney, James Davies, David Morris, Gary Sambrook, Pauline Latham, Sheryll Murray, William Wragg, Mark Pawsey, Jason McCartney.

Davies and Sambrook are members of the new intake of Tory MPs, which will thus be represented on the committee immediately.

Recent contests for the Chairmanship of the 1922 have seenh a candidate from the centre-left of the Parliamentary Party slug it out with a candidate from the centre-right.

Sir Graham was supported by the latter when he defeated Richard Ottoway in 2010.  His predecessor, Michael Spicer, followed the same pattern when he beat Gillian Shepherd in 2001.

There is no such difference here.  Both Sir Graham and Wiggin are from the centre-right of the Party.  Wiggin is Chairman of the 92 Group, which in recent years has acted as an umbrella group for the right.

Both men are Brexiteers, and voted for Theresa May’s version of the Withdrawal Agreement third time round.  Neither is a newcomer. Brady entered the Commons in 1997 and Wiggin in 2001.

A snap observation is that the contest shows a weakening of the Party’s centre-left in the wake of its broad support for Remain and a softer Brexit. The election for the contested positions will take place on Monday from 2pm to 5pm.

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