Bob Blackman: Who is the new chairman of the 1922 Committee?

Bob Blackman, who was elected chairman of the 1922 Committee following a vote among Tory MPs, will play a key role in choosing the new party leader.

The MP for Harrow East won 61 of the 98 votes cast on Tuesday, while the MP for North Cotswolds, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, received 37 votes, taking over the post from Sir Graham Brady.

The 1922 Committee, sometimes called “The 22”, is a group of Conservative backbenchers who organise votes on possible leadership changes and oversee votes of no confidence.

When a contest for the Tory leadership takes place, the committee chair announces the timetable and rules to be followed, including deciding on the nomination requirements for MPs who stand for election and the deadlines for doing so.

The Chair also receives the letters from Members of Parliament necessary to trigger a vote of no confidence.

Parliamentary election campaign 2024
Former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with current 1922 Committee Chairman Bob Blackman (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)

Blackman, 68, has been MP for Harrow East since the 2010 election, taking over the seat from former Labour minister Tony McNulty.

This came after three unsuccessful attempts in Brent South, Bedfordshire and Brent North in 1992, 1997 and 2005, in which he came second to Labour each time.

Mr Blackman graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1978 and later worked as a Regulatory Compliance Manager for British Telecom (BT).

He was elected as a Tory councillor for Brent Council in 1986 and became a member of the London Assembly for Brent and Harrow in 2004.

When re-elected in Harrow East on Thursday, Mr Blackman won a majority of 11,680 votes and a 53.3 per cent share of the vote, the highest of any Tory MP and the only one to win a majority of the overall vote.

Although he never held a ministerial post, he successfully campaigned in Parliament for laws to combat homelessness and improve housing standards.

A bill he introduced in Parliament in June 2016 was eventually passed as the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, imposing new duties on housing authorities to prevent homelessness.

Recently, a bill he introduced led to new legislation designed to prevent unscrupulous landlords from taking advantage of vulnerable people.

Mr Blackman has also sat on three select committees and been a member of over 70 cross-party parliamentary groups.

For his political and public services he was awarded the CBE in the King’s Birthday Honours in 2023.

In his new role as Leader of the 1922 Parliament, the veteran backbencher will become an important figure in the Conservative Party as the Tories now move into opposition.