The election victory of Rory Stewart, over Julian Lewis by 14 votes for the chairmanship of the Commons defence committee had all the hallmarks of a well orchestrated Conservative Establishment manoeuvre. The full result is here.
It meant that one Old Etonian replaced another. James Arbuthnot, as Tory chair of the defence committee, stood down. Rory Stewart. replaced him. It also blocked a troublesome Tory who helped humiliate Cameron by stopping him arming the rebels in Syria, which could have let jihadists obtaining chemical weapons.
The voting – using the single transferable vote- among the most sophisticated electorate in the country – allowed loyalist Tories two stabs at the post.
The first choice was probably ” safe pair of hands” Keith Simpson, Mp for Broadland, but when it became clear that Lewis had garnered enough support from Labour to overtake Simpson.they had another figure up their sleeve, Rory Stewart.
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