There is a serious amount of political jargon flying about at the minute, and the one term you might not be familiar with is ‘The 1922 Committee’.
You may have heard it in relation to the vote of no confidence that surrounded former Prime Minister Boris Johnson back in June.
While Mr Johnson survived that vote, he later resigned on July 7, offering his resignation after a slew of government ministers quit their roles.
And now it’s back in the news again as Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the committee, is reportedly set to meet other officers today to discuss Liz Truss’ fate amid growing pressure for the Prime Minister to step down.
But what exactly is the 1922 Committee, and why do they have the power to challenge the PM?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the 1922 Committee?
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The 1922 committee, known more formally as the Conservative Private Members’ Committee, is a committee of all backbench Conservative Members of Parliament.
Although it includes all backbenchers, there is an 18-member executive committee (voted for by backbenchers), with a chairman taking charge of the key roles of the committee.
These are the election of a party leader or facilitating a party-led vote of no confidence in the leader.
‘The 22’ meets weekly to discuss and air the views of their constituents without the presence of the frontbenchers, while the House of Commons is sitting.
When the party is in opposition backbenchers and frontbenchers alike attend ‘the 22’ -without the presence of the party leader.
The Chair of the committee is usually a senior MP who is elected by committee members and has a weighty part to play in the party itself.
Who is in the 1922 Committee?
Sir Graham Brady is the current chair, he is MP for Altrincham and Sale West.
William Wragg and Nusrat Ghani are vice chairs, Gary Sambrook and Bob Blackman serve as secretaries, and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is treasurer.
Who makes up ‘the 22’?
The full list of committee members is as follows:
- Aaron Bell
- Bob Blackman
- Sir Graham Brady
- Miriam Cates
- Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
- Nusrat Ghani
- Jo Gideon
- Richard Graham
- Chris Green
- Robert Halfon
- Sally-Ann Hart
- Andrew Jones
- Tom Randall
- Gary Sambrook
- David Simmonds
- John Stevenson
- Martin Vickers
- William Wragg
Why is the 1922 Committee important?
When it comes to the party leader and the Prime Minister, the Committee is very important as they have the power to table a vote of no-confidence in a leader or trigger a leadership election.
‘The 22’ also has an influence on the overseeing of the election of a new party leader, as evident in the recent leadership ballots.
A Prime Minister who loses confidence within ‘the 22’ is likely to find themselves in a similar situation with the Cabinet as they take the 1922 committee’s views seriously.
Why is it called the 1922 Committee?
The name of the committee – the 1922 or ‘The 22’ – came from a meeting of the Conservatives in 1922 that put an end to the coalition of Liberals and Conservatives.
The committee is generally related to the leadership and is under the control of the party whips, it keeps the entire party abreast of the vibes coming from the backbenchers on what the party is doing.
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