In last week’s Sunday Telegraph, Andrew Gilligan in writing about tensions in the coalition and the role of the 1922 Committee wrote:
‘More than one Tory MP reminded The Sunday Telegraph that the ’22 was formed as part of a backbench rebellion against the Lib-Con coalition.’
The only problem with this is that there is no evidence to support the claim that the 1922 Committee was formed in response to the fall of the Lloyd George coalition. The 1922 – or, to give it its formal name, the Conservative Private Members’ (1922) Committee – was formed in 1923. Its name derives from the fact that it was formed by some MPs first elected in the 1922 general election. They found it difficult to understand the practices of Westminster and so created the body as, in effect, a self-help group. There is no evidence of it having any connection with the political events of 1922. Had there been an extensive induction for new MPs, it may never have come into existence.