BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 00:18 GMT 01:18 UK
Tories elect new 1922 chairman
Sir Michael Spicer
Sir Michael has beaten off all challenges
Senior Conservative MP Sir Michael Spicer has been elected by his colleagues to represent them as the new chairman of the 1922 committee.

And he wasted no time in firing the official starting gun for the Tory leadership race, announcing the deadline for nominations will be next Thursday, 5 July.

How the contest went
Sir Michael Spicer, 79 votes
Gillian Shephard, 66 votes
John Butterfill, 11 votes
Organising the party's complex process of choosing a new leader to replace William Hague is one of his most important roles.

Sir Michael, who also acts as the contest referee, had already signalled his intention to complete the elections as soon as possible.

If all goes according to plan, the next Conservative leader could be known by mid-September.

Chairman election

Sir Michael won 79 votes in the ballot to become the 1922 chairman, beating his nearest rival Gillian Shephard by 13 votes.

John Butterfill came last with 11.

A former environment minister and right-wing eurosceptic, Sir Michael was widely tipped as the favourite for the job.

In his acceptance speech he said his objectives were to ensure the unity of the Tories and to raise the status of the parliamentary party.

"I believe in particular that the parliamentary party should have a well-defined role in the development of policy for the next general election, as we used to have when I first came into parliament."

Sounding board

The 1922 committee acts as a sounding board, communicating the views of backbenchers to the leadership.

Carlton Club meeting
Tory MPs leave the Carlton Club after the decisive meeting
Its chairmanship was left vacant following the retirement of Sir Archibald Hamilton at the general election.

If Mrs Shephard had won she would have become the first woman to hold the post, although in the event Tory MPs opted to elect the Worcestershire West MP.

Long tradition

It is often said that the 1922 committee takes its name from the Carlton Club meeting which brought down the Lloyd George coalition in 1922.

But in fact it was formed in 1923 and named after the year in which its first members were elected as MPs.

Tory MP Alan Duncan has called for the name to be changed to make it more modern but when this has been discussed before, MPs have failed to agree on an alternative.

Conservative MPs will now elect a vice chairman and treasurer of the committee.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's political correspondent Robin Chrystal
"After the first ballot of the leadership election, things will get very interesting"
The BBC's Andrew Marr reports
"[Clarke] is pro-Euro and stubborn as a mule"
Conservative MPs Alan Duncan and John Maples
discuss the appointment of Sir Michael Spicer
Kenneth Clarke
"I think it should be a two horse race"

Recent stories

The final two

CLICKABLE GUIDE

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

27 Jun 01 | UK Politics
14 Jun 01 | UK Politics
26 Jun 01 | UK Politics
26 Jun 01 | UK Politics
08 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes