Friday, 16 May 2014

Huge Congratulations to Rory Stewart, MP, my friend and neighbour on becoming chair of Defence Select Committee

The MP for Penrith, the Borders, Alston and Brampton has won the support of the House of Commons to lead the Defence Select Committee; this is a job which matters, and has genuine influence.

It's job is to hold the government and the Armed Forces to account. To ensure that we are maximising our resources, which for a long time have been affected by the debt the Labour government left us, is not an easy task. It also needs to advise government on future planning, and criticise where necessary. It needs to be cross party [as all select committees are] and needs to challenge orthodoxy. In that respect the House of Commons have chosen well - in a secret ballot.

Rory is a genuine character, but very bright, well travelled and with a bigger understanding of the world we live in than most ambassadors. He has worked in everywhere from Afghanistan to Iraq. He is also a proper countryman, and one of the most fascinating of the 2010 intake - which is certainly rich in characters. He will do a great job. He certainly has my full support and I am pleased that we have a Northerner representing the role. It will make a difference.

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