Ahead of the publication of his brand new book, The 1922 Committee: Power behind the scenes, we asked author Philip Norton to share ten things you didn’t know about The 1922 Committee, an important but elusive force in British politics:
- The 1922 Committee was not formed in 1922.
- It was not formed as a result of the Carlton Club meeting of Conservative MPs in October 1922 that brought down the Liberal-Conservative coalition government.
- It was not established as a political ginger group.
- Its leading members did not form ‘the men in grey suits’ who told a Conservative Party leader that their time was up.
- It came into existence as a form of self-help group for newly-elected Conservative MPs who wanted to make sense of what was happening in Parliament.
- Its name derives from the year in which the MPs who formed it were first elected.
- Despite the 1922 Committee being in existence for 100 years, this is only the second book to be written about it.
- The membership of the 1922 Committee is confined to Private Members in receipt of the Conservative whip in the House of Commons – it does not include the party leader, nor – when the party is in office – ministers.
- The 1922 Committee became significant during wartime – it remained the authentic voice of the Conservative Party – and acquired a major power in 1965 when Conservative MPs became the electorate for choosing the Conservative leader.
- Since 2010, when Graham Brady became Chairman of the 1922 Committee, more Prime Ministers have left office as a result of a visit by the Chairman of the 1922 Committee than have gone as a result of the actions of electors.
The 1922 Committee: Power behind the scenes
by Philip Norton