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Conservative Party Takes Step Towards Choosing New Leader with 1922 Committee Election



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The Conservative Party has made significant progress in the process of selecting a successor to Rishi Sunak by appointing a new chair for its backbench group. Bob Blackman has been elected as the new head of the 1922 Committee, a crucial backbench organization responsible for overseeing leadership transitions and other internal party matters.

Sir Graham Brady, the previous chair known for his pivotal role in informing Tory leaders of their tenure’s end, including Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Liz Truss, handed over the role to his successor. The chair of the 1922 Committee also serves as the recipient of no-confidence letters in the party’s leader, triggering a vote if a substantial number of letters are received.

Following a competitive selection process, Mr. Blackman emerged victorious over Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown with 61 votes to 37 out of 98 cast votes. However, the voting process faced criticism from MPs like Mark Francois, who labeled it as ‘bent’ and raised concerns over alleged discrepancies.

Senior Conservatives Jeremy Hunt and Sir Edward Leigh were reportedly denied a vote, leading to heightened tensions surrounding the election process. The remaining members of the committee are expected to be appointed shortly, marking a pivotal moment within the Conservative Party.

Looking ahead, the 1922 Committee will convene later this week to discuss the procedure for selecting Rishi Sunak’s successor. Debates within the party suggest a divergence in opinions regarding the timeline for the leadership contest, with some advocating for a swift decision and others proposing a lengthier process extending possibly until the party conference in September.

Prominent figures such as Suella Braverman, Robert Jenrick, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, and Victoria Atkins have been speculated as potential contenders for the leadership position. Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak will continue to fulfill his duties, including engagements like Prime Minister’s Questions against Sir Keir Starmer, until his successor is officially chosen.

After experiencing defeat in the recent election, Sunak acknowledged the need for the Conservative Party to undergo rebuilding and transition into an effective opposition force as he prepares to step down as party leader once the mechanisms for selecting his replacement are established.

Rachel Adams

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