Russia report: New intelligence committee chair loses Tory whip

Russia report: New intelligence committee chair loses Tory whip

Julian LewisPicture copyright
United kingdom Parliament

Image caption

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

Conservative MP Julian Lewis has been kicked out of the Conservative parliamentary bash immediately after beating Chris Grayling to become chair of the Intelligence and Stability Committee.

Believed to be No 10’s most popular preference, Mr Grayling was extensively envisioned to get the position.

But concerns had been raised that the body’s impartiality could be undermined, and MPs backed Mr Lewis.

The committee scrutinises the do the job of the intelligence and protection providers.

A senior authorities supply advised the BBC that Mr Lewis “has been advised by the chief whip that it is for the reason that he worked with Labour and other opposition MPs for his personal gain”.

Labour’s shadow overseas secretary Lisa Nandy criticised the conclusion tweeting: “Entirely self-defeating act that bears the hallmark of a federal government so arrogant it seriously thinks it is above scrutiny.

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

Former Tory Cabinet minister and ex-chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Dominic Grieve, told the BBC’s Newsnight: “What problems me about this episode, rather apart from its utter absurdity, and now withdrawing the whip from Julian, who is indeed highly revered, is the state of mind it offers about what on earth is likely on in Downing Street.

“Why did they try to manipulate this method? They shouldn’t have completed.

“The committee can only exist, the committee can only be highly regarded… if it is viewed to be non-partisan, and independent.”

Following Boris Johnson nominated 5 Conservative MPs for the committee previous 7 days – supplying them a bulk – it experienced been assumed Chris Grayling was a shoo-in for the chairman place.

But it appears there was a coup. Opposition members of the committee have been fearful Mr Grayling would be also near to No 10, and resolved to back again Julian Lewis. It seems he then backed himself, therefore securing a greater part.

That’s left No 10 ashamed and it appears offended. Sources say Mr Lewis had the whip removed since he experienced told the Tory main whip he would back Mr Grayling.

I hear the committee is assembly all over again on Thursday to go over when to publish the a lot delayed Russia report. Some are pushing for it to be revealed up coming 7 days – and think modern gatherings could make that additional likely.

Mr Grayling held cupboard positions underneath David Cameron and Theresa May possibly which include transportation secretary.

Irrespective of supporting Mr Johnson in the Conservative management election he was not offered a job in federal government.

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

Russian report

A single of the initial jobs of the freshly formed committee will be to publish a very long-awaited report on alleged Russian interference in British isles politics.

Publication has been held up by the 2019 election and then a hold off in placing up the committee. It has been the longest hiatus because the committee was founded in the early 1990s.

The report incorporates evidence from United kingdom intelligence companies regarding Russian makes an attempt to impact the consequence of the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 basic election.

The hold off in publication has led to speculation the report contains information embarrassing for the Conservatives, nevertheless chief of the Home Jacob Rees-Mogg said the hold up was owing to a quantity of committee associates leaving Parliament and the require “to make absolutely sure that the proper individuals with the right level of expertise and responsibility could be appointed”.

Talking in the Property of Commons on Monday, Mr Jones reported the report should be generated ahead of Parliament goes into recess on 22 July.

“You can find no cause why it shouldn’t be. It is been as a result of equally the committee, it’s been agreed as a result of the redaction procedure, and it really is been agreed by govt,” he states.