The hunt is on to find parliament’s next top financial watchdog after Andrew Tyrie shocked Westminster with his decision to stand down as an MP.
In a surprise announcement Tyrie yesterday revealed he would not stand for re-election in the upcoming General Election, thus giving up his role as one of parliament’s most feared interrogators.
Tyrie said he would seek new opportunities in public life, describing his two decades as an MP as “exhilarating”.
In seven years at the helm of the Treasury Select Committee, Tyrie led a raft of high-profile inquiries, becoming a critic of former chancellor George Osborne and Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
Tyrie pushed for improvement in banking and regulatory standards in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and most recently claimed the scalp of Charlotte Hogg who resigned from the Bank of England after failing to disclose a role held by her brother at Barclays.
His exit will likely see Tory MPs fight for one of the most high-profile positions outside of government. Committee chairs are elected by MPs, and the Treasury watchdog is chaired by an MP from the ruling party.
Bookmakers have made Brexiteers Steve Baker and Jacob Rees-Mogg the favourites to replace the Chichester MP.
The pair were among the first to pay tribute to Tyrie. Baker told City A.M.: “Andrew gave outstanding service to this country in the aftermath of the financial crisis, both as chair of the Treasury committee and in his exceptional work leading the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Andrew, even when we have not agreed, and I shall certainly miss his insight.”
Rees-Mogg added that Tyrie had been both “an exceptionally good” chair, and “an absolutely fearless scrutineer” of the government.
During his reign at the committee, Tyrie interrogated both Carney and Carney’s predecessor Sir Mervyn King, while probing post-financial crisis scandals such as Libor rigging.
He famously slammed former Barclays boss Bob Diamond’s evidence to the committee – surrounding the Libor scandal – as “somewhat implausible”.