Sir Edward Leigh MP has been named in a list of a dozen parliamentarians who he expects to ‘be making the political weather in the coming 12 months’.
BBC Parliamentary Correspondent Mark D’Arcy describes the senior Conservative backbencher as someone who has put himself at the head of a counter-revolution against plans to move Parliament out of the Victorian palace of Westminster to make way for a multi-billion pound refurbishment scheme.
He said: “When, late in January, MPs are asked to vote on the plan, which would see them decamp to a temporary chamber in, perhaps, 2021, he plans to propose an alternative scheme, which would ensure they remain in the building, with the Commons sitting in the Lords chamber, while peers are bumped to the Royal Gallery, next door. (Something similar happened when the Commons chamber was bombed out during World War II.)
“He argues that the parliamentary authorities are pushing for an unnecessarily elaborate and unjustifiably expensive makeover. He won loud applause for attacking current plans at the Conservative 1922 Committee and he claims cross-party support for his alternative.”
Mark has been a correspondent for Today in Parliament since 2002, and also presents BBC Parliament’s political book review show, Book Talk. His career has included stints at LWT’s Weekend World and the Leicester Mercury. He has also produced and occasionally presented Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour.
Other parliamentarians included in the list included: Lindsay Hoyle, Lord Burns, Meg Hillier & Sarah Wollaston, Steve Baker, Pat McFadden, Johnny Mercer, Angus Robertson, Jess Phillips, Lord Pannick, George Osborne and Lord Newby