Former intelligence committee chair questions proposal for Chris Grayling to become successor

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Former chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee and ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve has questioned a proposal to make Chris Grayling his successor.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Grieve said any new chair would need to hold cross-party 'respect'.

He said: 'The whole point about this committee is it is non-partisan.

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'The prime minister nor anybody should be seeking to tell the committee who should be the chair, it is for the committee to decide under the statute which sets it up.'

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Downing Street has urged the Tory members on the committee to back Grayling, dubbed 'Failing Grayling' for his failure as transport minister.

If successful it would put Grayling in charge of publishing the much-delayed Russian interference report as well as scrutinising the work of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Usually the job is given to long-serving party grandees, with Grieve the last Tory MP in the job.

Asked about Grayling becoming his successor, he said: 'I don't have a view for who the right chair should be apart from the fact I'm absolutely clear in my mind it should be a matter for the committee and that the committee should not be put under party political pressure as to who the chair should be.'

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He added: 'The chair should be somebody who is respected on a cross-party basis.'

Grieve called for Boris Johnson to release the long-delayed report into allegations of Russian interference into UK politics in October before the general election.

It was delayed when the election was called, and then subsequently delayed again until the ISC reconvened.

He said publication could still be weeks away from publication as the committee would need to be inducted and then understand and approve the content of the previous membership's report for which the evidence dated back to late 2018.

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