I learned very recently that Commons select committees are supposed to be non-political, with members from all parties working together to scrutinise the government’s policies on their particular subject. In practice, we all know that’s not really the case, because you can’t separate an MP’s decisions from their own political viewpoint. This explains why Julian Lewis has earned high-powered Labour supporters – he has rebelled against the government on three major votes.
For me, that seems like a good enough reason for him to become the new Defence committee chair – independent-mindedness really is what’s needed there.