Russia report: New intelligence committee chair loses Tory whip

Russia report: New intelligence committee chair loses Tory whip

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United kingdom Parliament

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Mr Lewis has been the Conservative MP for New Forest East since 1997 and has earlier chaired the Commons defence committee

Conservative MP Julian Lewis has been kicked out of the Conservative parliamentary occasion right after beating Chris Grayling to turn into chair of the Intelligence and Protection Committee.

Considered to be No 10’s most popular decision, Mr Grayling was greatly anticipated to get the position.

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

The committee scrutinises the perform of the intelligence and stability expert services.

A senior government 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 possess advantage”.

Labour’s shadow international secretary Lisa Nandy criticised the final decision tweeting: “Wholly self-defeating act that bears the hallmark of a authorities so arrogant it really believes it is over scrutiny.

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

Former Tory Cupboard minister and ex-chairman of the Intelligence and Safety Committee, Dominic Grieve, informed the BBC’s Newsnight: “What problems me about this episode, quite apart from its utter absurdity, and now withdrawing the whip from Julian, who is certainly remarkably respected, is the frame of mind it provides about what on earth is heading on in Downing Road.

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

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

Immediately after Boris Johnson nominated 5 Conservative MPs for the committee very last week – providing them a vast majority – it had been considered Chris Grayling was a shoo-in for the chairman position.

But it seems there was a coup. Opposition customers of the committee had been worried Mr Grayling would be too close to No 10, and decided to again Julian Lewis. It seems he then backed himself, hence securing a bulk.

That is remaining No 10 humiliated and it would seem angry. Sources say Mr Lewis experienced the whip eliminated due to the fact he had told the Tory main whip he would again Mr Grayling.

I listen to the committee is assembly yet again on Thursday to explore when to publish the much delayed Russia report. Some are pushing for it to be posted subsequent 7 days – and feel modern events could make that far more probably.

Mr Grayling held cupboard positions beneath David Cameron and Theresa Could including transportation secretary.

Despite supporting Mr Johnson in the Conservative leadership election he was not offered a purpose in govt.

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 – plus Labour peer Lord West of Spithead. Stewart Hosie is the SNP’s consultant on the committee.

Russian report

A person of the to start with careers of the freshly formed committee will be to publish a long-awaited report on alleged Russian interference in British isles politics.

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

The report consists of proof from Uk intelligence products and services about Russian tries to affect the consequence of the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election.

The hold off in publication has led to speculation the report includes aspects embarrassing for the Conservatives, nonetheless leader of the Dwelling Jacob Rees-Mogg stated the keep up was thanks to a quantity of committee users leaving Parliament and the want “to make positive that the right folks with the correct amount of working experience and duty could be appointed”.

Talking in the Household of Commons on Monday, Mr Jones said the report need to be developed right before Parliament goes into recess on 22 July.

“You will find no reason why it should not be. It truly is been by means of both the committee, it can be been agreed by way of the redaction method, and it’s been agreed by authorities,” he claims.

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