Belfast Telegraph

Nicky Morgan seeking Treasury Select Committee top job

Candidates vying to become the new chair of parliament's powerful Treasury Select Committee could be announced as early as this week as the race for the top job reaches the final furlong.

Five MPs have so far thrown their hats into the ring, with f ormer education secretary Nicky Morgan the latest to launch her bid for the role.

The move would pit Ms Morgan - who voted for the UK to remain in the EU - against prominent Brexiter and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg in the running to replace Andrew Tyrie, who gave up his role when he stood down as an MP before the election.

The official nominations are likely to be announced by the Commons this week, with a potential appointment made the week after.

The other hopefuls who have so far declared their interest in the role are Wimbledon MP and former transport minister Stephen Hammond, ex-Cabinet Officer minister John Penrose and MP Richard Bacon.

Former entrepreneur and McKinsey consultant Chris Philp is also said to be considering entering the fray.

Ms Morgan is so far the only former Treasury minister being put forward - and if picked, she would also be the first female chair of the cross-party committee.

But they have a hard act to follow, with Mr Tyrie having made his name as a fierce inquisitor of ministers and financial industry bosses.

The former Chichester MP, who was a supporter of Remain, led a forensic investigation by his committee into the claims of Brexit campaigners, which found that both sides were putting out "misleading" numbers to back up their arguments.

Mr Tyrie served under Michael Howard as a shadow Treasury spokesman in opposition from 2003-05, but was not appointed to the front bench by David Cameron.

For the bulk of his Commons career, he was a prominent member of the backbench select committees which scrutinise Government activities.