Arch-lockdown critic Sir Graham Brady was re-elected as the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs last night.

The MP for Altrincham and Sale West had faced a challenge for the shop steward role from Heather Wheeler, a former whip and Foreign Office junior minister.

Sir Graham, 54, who has held the post since 2010, yesterday thanked his colleagues for the ‘vote of confidence’ after the secret ballot, which is open to Tory MPs who are not on the Government payroll.

Sir Graham Brady (pictured) was re-elected as the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs last night

Downing Street has reportedly been unhappy with Sir Graham, a critic of lockdown restrictions who has voted against the Government several times.

Mrs Wheeler was widely regarded to be No 10’s preferred candidate for what is one of the most influential posts in Westminster. 

The role of 1922 chairman includes telling Conservative prime ministers if they have lost the support of backbench MPs.

Sir Graham said: ‘It is a privilege to have been re-elected as chairman of the 1922 Committee after 11 years serving the parliamentary Conservative Party, I am grateful to my colleagues for this vote of confidence.’

Often referred to as the ‘shop steward’ of Tory MPs, it is up to the ’22 chairman to tell the Conservative prime minister if they have lost the support of the backbenches.

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