Who Really Is Graham Brady, The Man Behind Rishi Sunak’s Nomination

A very discreet curator

The MP for Altrincham and Sale West (Manchester region) was appointed chairman of the 1922 Committee in 2010. Since then, no one has disputed his place with this 55-year-old elected official who knows how to hold his tongue, a rare quality among Conservative MPs , but essential to ensure the functioning of this club of elected officials. It is he, in particular, who collects the letters and or emails of the deputies wishing the departure of the Prime Minister: he communicates only when the number of these missives reaches the fateful bar of 15% of the conservative parliamentary group (about 54 people).

The master of thresholds

Graham Brady and his colleagues on the 1922 Committee defined the method of appointing the Downing Street tenant. Rules that vary according to requirements. In July, the candidates to replace Boris Johnson only needed the support of 20 elected officials to start the race, before their fate was finally decided after a month by the 180,000 members of the Conservative Party. No question of wasting so much time replacing Liz Truss. Graham Brady and his colleagues have set 100 elected signatures as the necessary floor of support to get started. Some have accused him of setting a threshold “Anti Boris” Johnson. Intentional or not, the maneuver worked. Only Rishi Sunak crossed the threshold.

The bearer of bad news

This strange club of elected officials is only talked about in the event of a crisis within the Conservative Party. It is composed of “backbenchers”, elected officials sitting “on the back benches” in the House of Commons, that is to say, not members of the government. Founded in 1923, the 1922 Committee gradually became the body that presides over the destinies of the party leaders. Graham Brady – like the 17 other members of the executive committee, nicknamed “men in gray suits” (them “ men in gray suits “, bearers of bad news) – warns the Prime Minister when he has lost the confidence of the deputies of his camp.

A man in the shadows tempted by the light

When the bar of 15% of distrust is reached, Graham Brady must announce the holding of a vote among the elected officials. This cannot take place, at the earliest, until one year after the arrival of the Prime Minister, or twelve months after the last vote of confidence. But sometimes the mere threat to organize the vote or change the rules is enough to push the leader out – as with Boris Johnson. Ironically, Graham Brady had himself considered embarking on the race won by “Bo Jo” in 2019, before giving up and returning to the committee.


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