Rees-Mogg fails to trump Morgan in Treasury committee bid

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Former City lawyer and education secretary Nicky Morgan has defeated fund manager Jacob Rees-Mogg to become chair of the Treasury select committee.

The result of the secret ballot of MPs saw Morgan win 290 votes to Rees-Mogg’s 226.

Morgan, who tweeted that she is “delighted and honoured” to be elected, is the first woman to chair the influential committee.

Morgan will be responsible for holding the Bank of England, Treasury and other key players in the City to account.

Rees-Mogg faced questions over potential conflicts of interest arising from his role with the investment manager.

A member of the committee since 2015, Rees-Mogg is also a partner of emerging markets boutique Somerset Capital Management, where he declared income just over £14,000 per month.

Rees-Mogg, a Eurosceptic who has previously described the EU as a “rotten apple”, also had to reassure MPs he would remain impartial on the issue of Brexit.

Shortly after the referendum he faced off with Bank of England governor Mark Carney at one of the committee’s meeting arguing the central bank had over-egged the economic implications of Brexit.

Morgan was in favour of the UK remaining in the EU.

Former transport minister Stephen Hammond, as well as John Penrose, Richard Bacon and Charlie Elphicke were also in the running to chair the select committee but did not make it to the final round.

Morgan will formally take up the position of chair when the remaining members of the committee have been appointed by the House.

In another vote held yesterday, Hilary Benn was re-elected unopposed as chair of the cross-party Exiting the European Union select committee.

Benn says the committee will have an important part to play in scrutinising both the negotiations on an agreement and the legislation that the Government will be bringing before Parliament as a result of Brexit.

Benn says the committee’s work programme will be confirmed in the coming weeks, but he anticipates it will cover the future of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU; access to the single market; how to balance immigration control with the needs of UK businesses; and future co-operation on foreign, security and defence policy.