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Andrew Tyrie The Independent on Sunday reports this morning here that the right of the Parliamentary Party is organising a slate for the Select Committee elections this Wednesday.

I wrote that this was likely last week here – and that both left and right will certainly organise tickets, in due course, for the election of 1922 Committee backbench committees.

The right's triumph in the '22 Chairmanship election was unmissable.  Its thumping win in the rest of the committee elections has been less well noted. For example, five of the six non-officers elected who were MPs at the last election were from the right.

Perhaps the most stark right-left clash will take place for the Chairmanship of the Treasury Select Committee.  That there are only two candidates dramatises the conflict. From the right, we have Michael Fallon.  From the left, Andrew Tyrie (pictured). Jonathan's written recently about the battle here.

Fallon, a Deputy Chairman of the Committee during the last Parliament, has been reported to have strong backing from his former colleagues.

Tyrie, however, is fighting back.  Sources close to his camp claim that a high-profile supporter from the last Committee will be unveiled early this week.  We shall see.

Certainly, claims that John McFall, the former Labour Chairman of the committee, has endorsed Fallon are wrong.  I've checked them out, and McFall's steering clear of the contest.

But they're a reminder that, for the Select Committee Chairman elections, the left-right struggle isn't everything.  Tory candidates will need to win Labour votes (and vice-versa).  So cross-party appeal will matter.

Furthermore, what's either group to do if two candidates put up from its ranks – as they're doing in the case of the Public Administration Committee, where Chris Chope and Bernard Jenkin are going head-to-head?

All of this is vivid illustration of how what used to be a Whips' carve-up has been transformed into a riot of democracy.

Paul Goodman

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