Christopher Chope is the only officer of the 1922 Committee who will be challenged by the 301 Group backed slate of broadly pro-leadership candidates. It is running two candidates for the two posts of secretary: Charlie Elphicke the popular, campaigning MP for Dover and Karen Bradley, the MP for Staffordshire Moorlands.
Where the slate is running the most candidates is for the executive, full list below. But here great care appears to have been taken to come up with an inclusive list. For example, the group is supporting Adam Holloway who resigned as a PPS to vote for the EU referendum motion. It is also endorsing Penny Mordaunt, one of the leading Tory opponents of Lords reform.
Also included on the list are two Cornish MPs, George Eustice and Sheryll Murray, who tried to block the so-called pasty tax. The intention is to show that while the slate is broadly supportive of the leadership and wants a Tory majority at the next election it is made up of people who will tell the Prime Minister when they think he is wrong.
If this slate succeeds, and I expect it will given both its voting weight in the party and its relatively modest aims, it will remove those who have used their position on the ’22 to campaign against the leadership. But the far harder challenge for it will be, as Tim Montgomerie says, to give the ’22 more of a campaigning focus.
One other thing worth noting is that these elections will vastly increase the standing of the ’22. The fact that the new intake are competing so vigorously for posts on it means that the likes of Louise Mensch can no longer dismiss it as an outdated body that does not speak for them.
The full slate