Michael Fabricant said today it was "madness" to have a system which allowed
the Leader of the Conservative Party to be chosen when he did not
necessarily enjoy the majority support of the parliamentary Party.
He has written to Tory officials urging that the present system be "stood on
its head" for future leadership elections.
Mr Fabricant said: "What is happening today is partly the consequence of the
rules and I am now calling for an urgent review of the rules of the party
both in relation to party structure and to the election of a leader.
"It is imperative that the general membership of the party still be
enfranchised, but the final decision must remain with the parliamentary
party and not with the party outside Westminster.
"Any future leader must know that he or she enjoys the support of the
majority of the parliamentary party. This did not happen with Iain Duncan
Smith and it has been a rod on his back ever since."
He said the solution would be for the party in the country to make the first
choice of candidates, allowing the parliamentary party to make the final
decision between 2 or 3 candidates.
"This would turn the present system on its head.
"It was madness for a system to be introduced back in 1999 which allowed a
leader to be chosen who did not enjoy the majority support of the
parliamentary party no matter how good he or she might be. These rules must