1922 Committee Elections Results See Modernisers Take Partial Control

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1922 COMMITTEE
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The elections for the 1922 Committee have been revealed by the Conservative Party's backbench chairman Graham Brady - and while the new 301 group of young Tory MPs has failed to get their preferred people into the two secretary positions, they have secured one of their favourites in the form of Karen Bradley. The middle-of-the-road candidate Nick De Bois took the other secretary position.

The 301 group, formed a few months ago, are a group of Tory MPs who want to modernise the party and focus less on Europe and traditionalist values. They have been part of a movement which has tried to remove hard-liners from key positions on the 1922 committee, which serves as a forum for backbench Tory debate.

The 301 group is so-called because that's the number of seats the Tories expect to require to secure an outright majority at the next election.

The other results on the general executive for the 1922 are more favourable for the 301 group - and by implication for David Cameron. Seven of the twelve positions have been filled by the so-called "slate" of candidates preferred by younger members of the Tory backbenches, and many of them were elected for the first time in 2010.

In full the new twelve members of the executive are:

Steve Baker
Guto Bebb
George Eustice
Graham Evans
Robert Halfon
George Hollingbery
Bernard Jenkin
Simon Kirby
Penny Mordaunt
Sheryll Murray
Priti Patel
Heather Wheeler

In addition the results were announced on Wednesday evening for the four Tory positions on the Commons Backbench Business Committee - they will help determine the course of backbench debates at Westminster for the next year.

David Amess
Bob Blackman
Jane Ellison
Marcus Jones

It's ended up being quite a mixed picture. As HuffPost reported earlier on Wednesday there's been a lot of rancour with these elections, following allegations of interference and tacit support for 301 candidates by Number 10. We reported earlier that this "slating" of candidates had caused ripples of uncertainty, with Tracey Crouch - a young moderniser - stepping down from the committee amid reports she feared she'd be seen as a Downing Street stooge.

On balance what's happened is that the new 1922 has become a fairer reflection of the state of the parliamentary party at large, with a few of the old guard remaining in key positions but plenty of fresh blood on the executive. There are some fun mavericks like the ultra-free market Steve Baker sitting alongside the somewhat enigmatic Priti Patel. Like Nick de Bois, Patel has been seen as being in both the modernising and dissident camps simultaneously.

People like Peter Bone and Christopher Chope - perennial thorns in the side of the PM - are swept aside. Of course there's nothing to stop these two continuing to snipe at what they see as diluted Tory policies. They just won't have the cachet of being on the 1922 behind them, anymore.

David Cameron should be able to wake up to Farming Today tomorrow morning with the burdens of backbench rancour lifted - but only a little bit.

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