The conventional wisdom about the brilliant Rory Stewart is that he is gifted, but he simply isn’t a politician. Too independent-minded. Too outspoken. Too unconventional. Not on-message. Doesn’t play the Westminster Game. And so on.
So it’s worth pointing out that his election as Chairman of the Defence Select Committee this afternoon runs rather contrary to that view. ConservativeHome ran what was in effect his manifesto a few weeks ago. It and he evidently persuaded enough of his colleagues to give him the victory.
He wouldn’t have won without the support of Conservative and non-Conservative MPs. He must have pulled in a chunk of votes from Labour in particular to have succeeded. Commiserations to Dr Julian Lewis, who reportedly ran second by 212 votes to Stewart’s 226.