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FALLON MICHAEL Last week it emerged that Conservative MPs will chair twelve of Parliament's select committees, with those influential chairmanships being decided by ballots of all MPs from across the Commons next week.

This morning's Times reports on the battle to chair one of the most important committees, the Treasury Select Committee. We are apparently set to see Michael Fallon (pictured), the deputy chairman and senior Conservative on the committee in the last Parliament, likely to be challenged by Andrew Tyrie, who has also served on the committee and is a stalwart of several Ken Clarke leadership campaigns.

Nominees need the public backing of 15 MPs from their own party and at least 5 from other parties in order to run.

The Times suggest that Michael Fallon already has the backing of all other members of the committee from the last Parliament (bar Mr Tyrie), suggesting that he has broad support from across the House; but supporters of Mr Tyrie, a Tory moderate, claim he too would be well positioned to gain support from across the Commons.

Nominations do not need to be submitted until next Tuesday, so there will be doubtless much informal campaigning and collecting of signatures for all these posts when MPs return form their mini-Whitsun recess tomorrow.

Watch this space for more news.

Jonathan Isaby

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