Next week in Westminster is going to be dominated by the election of deputy speakers and select committee chairmen. On the select committee front, the party whips will agree on which party will chair which committee. Then, the chairmen will be elected by the whole House.
There are some intriguing races in prospect. I’m told that Patrick Mercer, who was sacked by David Cameron and then went on to do a homeland security review for Brown, will challenge James Arbuthnot for the job of chairing the defence select committee. Richard Ottaway, the defeated candidate in the race to be chairman of the 1922 Committee, will, I hear, go for the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. It had been previously thought that Sir John Stanley was the favourite for that post.
I expect that there’ll be some other intriguing contests. Certainly, the process is serving to bring Coalition and Opposition MPs together as you need a certain amount of people from the other side to sign your nomination papers.