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Cameron wins 1922 Committee reform
12:44pm Thursday 20th May 2010
David Cameron's controversial bid to reform a key Tory backbench committee has been passed by his MPs.
Conservative MPs voted by a margin of 168 to 118 to accept a change that will see ministers able to play a full part in the 1922 Committee.
Traditionally, membership has been limited to backbenchers when the party is in government.
The result, confirmed by a party spokesman, should give the Prime Minister more control over a body that has historically been a thorn in the side for Tory leaders.
A number of MPs have expressed public concerns over the move, which was sprung on the party at a meeting in the Commons on Wednesday night.
Prominent figures including Douglas Carswell, Bill Cash, Christopher Chope and Peter Bone have suggested the reform will reduce accountability and effectively abolish the 1922.
The result of the vote indicates that many more privately agreed with the sentiments - although not enough to prevent Mr Cameron getting his way.
The crucial change means that the "payroll vote" of ministers and Government Whips will be able to take part in the election of the 1922's new chairman on May 26 - the day after the Queen's Speech.
Veteran Richard Ottaway, the current vice-chairman, is fighting Altrincham and Sale West MP Graham Brady, who has been critical of the leadership, for the coveted post.
If elected, many expect Mr Brady to become a focal point for growing backbench disquiet over the coalition deal Mr Cameron has struck with the Liberal Democrats.He has already indicated he would have preferred the Prime Minister to form a minority Tory administration.