Edward du Cann and five other significant 1922 Committee chairs

Graham Brady

Six significant chairmen of the influential Tory back-bencher 1922 Committee - from Edward du Cann to Graham Brady.

1. Edward du Cann

Du Cann was the committee’s chairman from 1972 to 1984, and led  the committee during the final years of Edward Heath’s government and the first half of Margaret Thatcher’s. He recently passed away aged 93, as reported by the BBC.

He was first elected in 1956 and served as the MP for Taunton right up until his departure from the Commons at the 1987 election.

2. Sir Gervais Rentoul

The Committee was formed in 1923, but is named after the 1922 meeting where Tory MPs made the decision to stop backing David Lloyd George’s Liberal-led government, according to the Telegraph.

Rentoul helped found the committee and became its first chairman, leading the group from 1923 to 1932.

3. John Morrison

Morrison chaired the committee between 1955 and 1964 during his time as MP for the seat of Salisbury between 1942 and 1965.

The fact he held the role for nine years makes him the third longest-serving chair, only beaten by founder Rentoul and the recently deceased du Cann.

Two of his sons went on to become Tory MPs, with the eldest, Sir Peter Morrison, serving as Margaret Thatcher’s PPS and Energy Minister.

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4. Cranley Onslow

Onslow took over from Edward du Cann in 1984 and led the committee until the 1992 election.

Before entering parliament, he studied at Oxford and worked for MI6.

5. Michael Spencer

Spencer led the committee from 2001 until 2010, following which he was made a peer and now sits in the House of Lords.

During his final years in parliament, he caused some controversy in relation to the expenses scandal. The Telegraph reported that he claimed over £5000 for gardening, money for the installation of a chandelier, and other baffling claims for his Worcestershire manor.

6. Graham Brady

Brady is the current chairman of the 1922 Committee. He has served in the role since the aftermath of the 2010 election, taking over from Michael Spencer.

The back-bench Tory MP has been in parliament since 1997, and recently said that, “At the moment we are solidly behind Theresa May,” following questions about her leadership of the party on the BBC’s Daily Politics.

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