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"Failing Grayling" does it again!

July 16, 2020 3:11 PM
A few days ago we commented on how the Government was trying to push unqualified loyalists into key posts see here
Well Parliament has thwarted the attempt by No10 to place Mr Grayling as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee which oversees the security services. Long-standing Conservative MP Julian Lewis was elected with the support of all opposition members. Much more qualified for the role than Mr Grayling the result was a surprise as reports were the Government had whipped the Conservative members to support Mr Grayling

Boris Johnson was humiliated by the defeat of his chosen candidate and subsequently expelled Mr Lewis from the party whip.

nhws (Thanks to Marcin Nowak for sharing their work on Unsplash.)In a statement after its first meeting under Dr Lewis's leadership, the ISC said: "The committee has unanimously agreed this morning that it will publish the report on Russia prepared by its predecessor before the House rises for the summer recess. There will be no further comment." It is understood to contain details of the Kremlin's attempt to gain influence in the higher echelons of UK politics and to affect the outcome of votes like the 2016 EU election

Former ISC chair Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind blamed Mr Johnson's "incompetence" for the farce that saw his hand-picked choice for the chair defeated.

"I think the prime minister is the author of his own misfortune," It was set down in an Act of Parliament that the chair was chosen by the nine nominated members, with No 10 having "no role", he explained.

"The idea of using the whips to try and force Conservative members to vote for a particular candidate goes totally against the way in which the committee has - under statute - operated since it began," Sir Malcolm said.

"The prime minister or his advisers, whoever was dealing with it, has handled this in an extremely incompetent way."

Responding to the election of Julian Lewis Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

With the ongoing pandemic, people are rightly worried. That is why it is more important than ever before that people can have faith in Government.

Sadly, we have seen Boris Johnson drive a coach and horses through public trust by appointing yes-men to the intelligence committee. True to form, however, failing Grayling has been undone in his bid to be Chair.

I hope we now have a committee with real teeth that can hold this Government to account. That starts by publishing the report into Russian interference of our democracy before the summer recess so MPs can scrutinise it fully.