Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg confirms his bid to chair parliament's Treasury watchdog

 
Mark Sands
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George Osborne Presents The 2016 Budget Statement To The House Of Commons
Former chair Andrew Tyrie stood down ahead of the 2017 election. (Source: Getty)

Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg will seek to chair parliament's Treasury Select Committee, putting himself forward for one of the most important roles in scrutinising government policy.

The chair of the committee is vacant following Andrew Tyrie's decision to quit parliament at the last election, and Rees-Mogg has confirmed his plans to seize the role.

"It is a key Commons committee in an area where I have specialised for many years, and in a hung Parliament it will have an important role in holding people to account," Rees-Mogg told City A.M.

A long-time Brexit campaigner, Rees-Mogg has sat on the Treasury committee since the 2015 election.

Since being elected in 2010, Rees-Mogg has become known for his florid prose, but the MP for North East Somerset is also one of the founders of asset manager Somerset Capital Management, based in London and Singapore.

Read More: Tyrie slams Hammond over rules which could have blocked HBOS review

Under Tyrie, the Treasury Committee became a powerful inquisitor of ministers. MPs undertook a raft of high-profile inquiries, criticising former chancellor George Osborne and Bank of England governor Mark Carney along the way.

Tyrie also 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.

The chair of the committee is elected by MPs from all sides of the house, although the Treasury Committee itself is always led by a member of the governing party.

Read More: UK banks vulnerable to a "toxic cocktail" of bailout risks – new inquiry

Rees-Mogg was one of the early favourites for the role alongside fellow committee member Steve Baker.

However, Baker has since been named a Brexit minister, meaning he can't sit on the committee.

Other contenders may include former entrepreneur and one-time McKinsey consultant Chris Philp, who has also sat on the committee since 2015.

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