Lawmakers will vote this lunch break to elect the new chairman of the House Select Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The vote came after former Speaker Tom Tugendhat was appointed as the government’s security minister last month.
Today’s vote is seen as an indicator of the current attitude of lawmakers towards China. The Foreign Affairs Commons Special Committee was reportedly planning a visit to Taiwan later this year, a move likely to anger Chinese officials.
Amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan, Chinese ambassador to Britain Zheng Zeguang warned at a press conference in August that there would be “serious consequences” if British lawmakers decided to visit Taiwan. did.
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The chairman of the selection committee is assigned to a particular political party by the Speaker of the House at the beginning of each legislative session. Her four candidates for the vacant seat are all Conservative MPs, as the Foreign Affairs Committee is assigned to the Conservative Party.
These include former Conservative Party leader Ian Duncan Smith. Former Secretary of Defense Liam Fox. Members of Congress Richard Graham and Alicia Kearns.
Duncan Smith, who is on China’s sanctions list, is seen as the candidate with the toughest approach to China.
Richard Graham, the current chairman of the All-Party Congressional Group on China and a former diplomat who worked in Beijing, is seen as the candidate with a more conciliatory stance on relations with China.
Alicia Kearns is currently the only candidate on the Foreign Affairs Task Force.
Fellow lawmakers rank the four candidates in order of preference. In a by-vote election, the candidate with the least number of votes is defeated first. A second, and possibly a third, count is made for her, as her second preference of those supporting the excluded candidate is redistributed to those remaining in the contest.
There is no clear favorite to win today’s vote.
The current election has seen a large amount of quiet campaigning by those involved, but the outcome of the vote may depend on whether there is a particular candidate that Labor MPs are likely to unite with. .
Apart from the newly appointed Chair, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee is made up of 11 MPs, currently 5 Conservative MPs, 3 Labor MPs, 1 SNP MP and 1 Independent MP.
https://www.politics.co.uk/news/2022/10/12/mps-set-to-chose-next-chair-of-foreign-affairs-select-committee/ Parliamentarians elect chairman of next Special Committee on Foreign Affairs