David Cameron's allies take control from critics in rebel Tory group

No 10 accused of trying to fill 1922 Committee with stooges to silence opposition against PM

Critics of David Cameron last night lost an acrimonious battle for control of an influential Conservative backbench committee with direct access to the Prime Minister.

The contest for positions on the 1922 Committee had exposed growing fault-lines and tensions within the party after a badly-received Budget and the Tories' poor local election results.

New MPs presenting themselves as modernisers emerged triumphant as they ousted leading critics of the Government, including Christopher Chope and Peter Bone from posts on the committee.

The elections were marred by accusations of dirty tricks between rival camps of MPs. An anonymous letter was circulated among Tories calling for "modernisers" to be stopped, while Mr Cameron's critics claimed that Downing Street was trying to silence dissent by getting its supporters on to the executive. The 1922 Committee is designed to alert ministers to backbenchers' concerns about the direction the Government is taking.

The elections became a struggle between longer-serving MPs, who have been openly critical of the Prime Minister's leadership, and younger "progressive" Tories demanding greater loyalty to Mr Cameron.

The 301 Group – named after the number of MPs needed to obtain an overall majority at the next election – organised a slate of MPs first elected in 2010 to stand in the elections. They succeeded in securing a series of posts in the ballot, which was open to backbenchers and ministerial aides. Karen Bradley, a 301 member, and Nick de Bois won the two joint-secretary posts.

Mr Chope, who complained about the "massive watering-down" of Tory manifesto promises within weeks of the Coalition's creation, was defeated for the post. Mark Pritchard, another Cameron critic, had voluntarily stood down as the other 1922 secretary.

Eight of the 12 MPs elected to the committee's executive are from the 301 group, including George Eustice, George Hollingbery and Priti Patel. Prominent Cameron critic Peter Bone was ejected, although the right-winger Bernard Jenkin and the independent-minded Steve Baker were elected.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea