Pro-Remain Tories win powerful select committee elections
Theresa May faces a fresh headache after a string of Remain-supporting Conservatives MPs were elected to lead powerful Commons committees.
Nicky Morgan held off competition from five other Tories – including prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg – to become chair of the Treasury Select Committee.
Ms Morgan has been one of the most outspoken critics of Mrs May’s policies since she was sacked from the Cabinet last year, and has also led calls for the Government to pursue a so-called “soft Brexit”.
The positions were decided by MPs from all parties under the alternative vote method.
Another Tory former Remain-supporting minister sacked by Mrs May, Robert Halfon, will take the helm at the Education Committee.
Neil Parish and Tom Tugendhat – who both backed the pro-EU campaign last year – also won their elections for the Environment and Foreign Affairs committees respectively.
Mr Tugendhat ousted incumbent Crispin Blunt, who supported Leave shortly before the referendum, while Mr Parish defeated, among others, Zac Goldsmith in his race.
Julian Lewis and Andrew Murrison were the only pro-Brexit Tories who won contested elections for their chairman roles on the Defence and Northern Ireland Committees.
In the Labour contests, former Shadow Cabinet members Rachel Reeves and Lilian Greenwood became heads of the BEIS and Transport committees respectively, while Clive Betts held on to his role as chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee. Ian Mearns also remains chairman of the Backbench Business Committee.
Ms Greenwood’s was the only contest which had a different outcome than a first-past-the-post system would have produced, as she trailed Bridget Phillipson after the first round of voting.
Liberal Democrat former health minister Norman Lamb defeated his party’s deputy leader Jo Swinson to lead the Science and Technology Committee.
The committees are distributed among the parties according to how many Commons seats they have.
The chairmanships of many were uncontested after only one MP were nominated.
FULL LIST OF COMMITTEE CHAIRS:
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Labour) – Rachel Reeves
Communities and Local Government (Labour) – Clive Betts
Defence (Conservative) – Dr Julian Lewis
Education (Conservative) – Robert Halfon
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Conservative) – Neil Parish
Foreign Affairs (Conservative) – Tom Tugendhat
Northern Ireland Affairs (Conservative) – Dr Andrew Murrison
Science and Technology (Liberal Democrat) – Norman Lamb
Transport (Labour) – Lilian Greenwood
Treasury (Conservative) – Nicky Morgan
Culture, Media and Sport (Conservative) - Damian Collins
Exiting the EU (Labour) – Hilary Benn
Health (Conservative) – Dr Sarah Wollaston
International Development (Labour) – Stephen Twigg
Home Affairs (Labour) – Yvette Cooper
International Trade (Scottish National Party) – Angus Brendan MacNeil
Justice (Conservative) – Robert Neill
Scottish Affairs (Scottish National Party) – Pete Wishart
Welsh Affairs (Conservative) – David T C Davies
Women and Equalities (Conservative) – Mrs Maria Miller
Work and Pensions (Labour) – Frank Field
Environmental Audit (Labour) – Mary Creagh
Petitions (Labour) – Helen Jones
Procedure (Conservative) – Mr Charles Walker
Public Accounts (Labour) – Meg Hillier
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs (Conservative) – Mr Bernard Jenkin
Standards (Labour) - Sir Kevin Barron