DAVID Cameron is to give one of Prince Charles’ best friends a top job as watchdog to Britain’s spy network.
Nick Soames set for top job
Posted by Ian at 5 00 AM on Sunday, May 23
Senior Tory backbencher Nick Soames, a former equerry to the Prince and grandson of Winston Churchill, is to be made chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
The former Defence Minister had planned to stand as chairman of the Tory Back-bench 1922 Committee.
But he quietly withdrew from that race after being told he was being lined up for something better.
Soames is a corpulent, old-fashioned Tory who picked up a two month driving ban in 2008 after driving a quad bike carrying children and a pregnant woman down a road while following a hunt.
He has been a friend of Prince Charles of over 40 years, after serving as his aide from 1970 to 1972, before he became a stockbroker.
According to the book Women in Parliament published in 2005, Soames was named as the 'most sexist' MP, with several female MPs stating that he has made vulgar comments to them.
One says they retaliated by shouting "click" at him — a reference to a claim made by an old friend, Tory MP Alan Clark, that having sex with him would be "like having a wardrobe fall on you with the key still in it".
The ISC is a highly secretive committee of senior MPs which is the only body that holds MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to account.
The committee meets in private and its reports are only published in a heavily edited format.
He will succeed former Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells, who in turn took over from ex-Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.
The job is normally given to people who have been in the Cabinet, but Soames, who also went to Eton, has been a long-term supporter of Mr Cameron.
The appointment is a clear sign that Mr Cameron in tends to fill key House of Commons committees with close friends and loyalists.