Russia report: New intelligence committee chair loses Tory whip

Russia report: New intelligence committee chair loses Tory whip

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Uk Parliament

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Mr Lewis has been the Conservative MP for New Forest East considering that 1997 and has previously chaired the Commons defence committee

Conservative MP Julian Lewis has been kicked out of the Conservative parliamentary party following beating Chris Grayling to become chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Thought to be No 10’s desired selection, Mr Grayling was broadly expected to get the part.

But problems experienced been lifted that the body’s impartiality could be undermined, and MPs backed Mr Lewis.

The committee scrutinises the perform of the intelligence and protection products and services.

A senior govt supply informed the BBC that Mr Lewis “has been told by the chief whip that it is because he worked with Labour and other opposition MPs for his individual gain”.

Labour’s shadow overseas secretary Lisa Nandy criticised the choice tweeting: “Wholly self-defeating act that bears the hallmark of a govt so arrogant it truly thinks it is above scrutiny.

“What is in the Russia report that Johnson would not want to see the light-weight of working day?”

Previous Tory Cupboard minister and ex-chairman of the Intelligence and Stability Committee, Dominic Grieve, told the BBC’s Newsnight: “What troubles me about this episode, fairly aside from its utter absurdity, and now withdrawing the whip from Julian, who is in truth very respected, is the way of thinking it gives about what on earth is heading on in Downing Street.

“Why did they check out to manipulate this process? They should not have finished.

“The committee can only exist, the committee can only be revered… if it is witnessed to be non-partisan, and unbiased.”

After Boris Johnson nominated five Conservative MPs for the committee previous 7 days – giving them a the greater part – it had been assumed Chris Grayling was a shoo-in for the chairman placement.

But it would seem there was a coup. Opposition customers of the committee were being worried Mr Grayling would be too near to No 10, and made a decision to back Julian Lewis. It seems he then backed himself, hence securing a greater part.

Which is left No 10 embarrassed and it appears to be angry. Sources say Mr Lewis had the whip taken out for the reason that he had explained to the Tory main whip he would again Mr Grayling.

I hear the committee is conference yet again on Thursday to go over when to publish the a great deal delayed Russia report. Some are pushing for it to be posted following week – and feel modern occasions could make that more possible.

Mr Grayling held cabinet positions below David Cameron and Theresa Might together with transport secretary.

In spite of supporting Mr Johnson in the Conservative leadership election he was not offered a purpose in government.

The other Conservative committee customers are Sir John Hayes, Mr Lewis, Mark Pritchard, and Theresa Villiers. There are two Labour MPs – Kevan Jones and Dame Diana Johnson – in addition Labour peer Lord West of Spithead. Stewart Hosie is the SNP’s agent on the committee.

Russian report

1 of the to start with positions of the newly fashioned committee will be to publish a very long-awaited report on alleged Russian interference in United kingdom politics.

Publication has been held up by the 2019 election and then a hold off in environment up the committee. It has been the longest hiatus considering that the committee was set up in the early 1990s.

The report contains proof from Uk intelligence solutions concerning Russian makes an attempt to impact the consequence of the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 typical election.

The delay in publication has led to speculation the report incorporates details uncomfortable for the Conservatives, nonetheless chief of the Residence Jacob Rees-Mogg said the keep up was due to a variety of committee users leaving Parliament and the will need “to make absolutely sure that the appropriate individuals with the right amount of experience and accountability could be appointed”.

Speaking in the Dwelling of Commons on Monday, Mr Jones explained the report must be manufactured in advance of Parliament goes into recess on 22 July.

“You can find no explanation why it should not be. It is been by both of those the committee, it really is been agreed by way of the redaction method, and it truly is been agreed by government,” he suggests.

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