David Blackburn

Call the committee to order

Call the committee to order
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It’s committee chairmanship season in Westminster, and there are two noteworthy battles. Michael Fallon and Andrew Tyrie are scrapping over the Treasury Select Committee. The FT summarises the pros and cons of both. Fallon, who served as John McFall’s deputy, remains the front-runner, but the cerebral Tyrie has an impeccable record as an economist, committee member and constituency MP - I grew up near Chichester and Tyrie deserves credit for tackling the city’s perennial flooding problems; and, for what it’s worth, he won the Spectator’s backbencher of the year award again last year. I understand that Tyrie has the requisite number of backers, as well as ties with Nigel Lawson, Ken Clarke and William Waldegrave. Fallon’s capability is well known and he has the larger profile. Your bet's as good as mine; they’re equally qualified.

The Defence Select Committee is a more open race, between the incumbent (so to speak) James Arbuthnot, Patrick Mercer, Douglas Carswell and Julian Lewis. James Kirkup has a good post on the race and its machinations. In truth though, it will take a minor miracle to unseat the experienced Arbuthnot.