Soubry and Rees-Mogg face off in battle for Brexit committee

PUBLISHED: 17:46 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 22:59 04 September 2017

Anna Soubry and Jacob Rees-Mogg

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Leading Remainer Anna Soubry and Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg are two of the most high-profile figures competing to fill Conservative seats on the Commons' influential Brexit Select Committee.

The pair are among 14 Tory MPs vying for 10 places on the committee, which is responsible for scrutinising the Government's strategy for leaving the EU.

The committee's chair, Labour's Hilary Benn, was elected by a full ballot of all MPs before the summer recess. But the rest of the committee are elected only by their party colleagues, meaning only Tory MPs will get to choose who represents them when they vote in a Commons committee room tomorrow afternoon.

Attention is sure to focus on two of the best-known figures on either side of the Brexit spectrum, Ms Soubry and Mr Rees-Mogg. Before the summer recess Mr Rees-Mogg stood for the chairmanship of the Treasury Select Committee, only to be defeated by Ms Soubry's close Remain colleague, former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

Both have had high media profiles in recent weeks, with Mr Rees-Mogg the subject of unlikely leadership speculation over the summer and Ms Soubry today calling for her colleagues in government to end their "macho" posturing over Brexit.

New members are needed as three previous members, including Michael Gove, are now in government, while one stood down from Parliament and another lost their seat. Only backbenchers, not ministers or whips, are allowed to vote.

The full list of candidates are:

Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

On the most extreme Hard Brexit wing of the party. Supporter of the death penalty, conscription, selling off the BBC and banning the burka in public places. Talks about his wife in Parliament a lot. Stood unsuccessfully for the committee last year.

Chris Chope (Christchurch)

See Peter Bone (above), but without the wife and previously standing bit.

Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)

Only elected in June. Brexiteer who believes that leaving the EU will provide an economic boost to the north-east. At 2m (metrication intentional) the UK's second-tallest MP.

Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire)

Former cabinet minister and fleeting leadership candidate. Backed Remain and on the Soft Brexit wing of the parliamentary party.

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon)

Ex-Justice minister and firm remainer once sworn at in the Commons by fellow Tory MP Michael Fabricant for suggesting Brexit could cost the UK £1.7bn in legal services. Stood unsuccessfully for the committee last year.

Vicky Ford (Chelmsford)

Only elected in June. Former MEP who backed Remain but is now proving loyal. The first member of the 2017 intake to make her maiden speech.

Richard Graham (Gloucester)

Remain supporter now being kept quiet as Theresa May's Trade Envoy to the Philippines.

Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

Better Off Out supporter who has previously been rumoured to have considered defecting to Ukip, a rumour he quashed by saying Nigel Farage was the non-Conservative politician he most respected.

Andrea Jenkyns (Morley and Outwood)

Vanquisher of Ed Balls. Served on the committee in the last parliament. Brexiteer.

Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)

Served on the committee in the last parliament. Self-described One Nation Tory who backed Remain.

Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet)

Former deputy leader of Ukip. Served on the committee in the last parliament.

Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset)

Hard Brexiteer. Toff who gives his children funny names while not changing their nappies, talked up over the summer as a future Prime Minister by bored journalists.

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe)

Former Business minister sacked by Theresa May. Fervent Remain campaigner who has not gone quietly.

John Whittingdale (Maldon)

Ex-Culture, Media and Sport Secretary. Brexiteer who served on the committee in the last parliament, once describing one of its own reports as "unduly negative".

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