Tyrie’s Treasury committee rivals step aside

The Times Harry Wilson City Editor

Last updated at 12:01AM, May 22 2015

Andrew Tyrie
Two of the challengers to Andrew Tyrie for the chairmanship of the Treasury select committee have effectively enabled him to be re-elected unopposed to one of the most powerful posts in parliament outside government.Mark Garnier and Jesse Norman, who are also Conservative MPs, say that they are no longer interested in the job after speculation that they were both set to fight Mr Tyrie for the post.

Mr Garnier said that, as things stood, he would not challenge the Tory MP for Chichester, and Mr Norman confirmed that he intended to stand for the chairmanship of the culture, media and sport committee.

“I am going to back Andrew on this one,” Mr Garnier said. “He is a very talented guy.” Mr Norman had been believed likely to run for the Treasury committee job but, after John Whittingdale’s promotion to culture secretary, he has decided to stand for his previous job as head of the culture committee.

In the previous parliament, the Treasury committee published a series of reports into the banking industry. Mr Tyrie also separately led the parliamentary committee on banking standards set up by George Osborne, the chancellor, in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal.

The Treasury committee chairmanship is regarded as one of the most important non-ministerial posts, and its holder is the first person after the leader of the opposition to respond to the budget.

Mr Tyrie, an Oxford-educated economist, was praised during his chairmanship for avoiding partisan conflicts on the committee, despite being close to Mr Osborne.

His election as chairman in 2010 came despite tough competition from Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, who had been the committee’s deputy chairman under John McFall, now Lord McFall of Alcluith, during the preceding Labour government.

Mr Tyrie could face last-minute competition for the post because the deadline for nominations for select committee positions closes on June 10.

However, by convention, only MPs from the governing party can stand for the role and no other Conservative MPs have indicated an interest.

The chairman or chairwoman will face a busy five years, with the committee expected to lead inquiries into a range of issues, including the financial pros and cons of Britain’s membership of the European Union.

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