THE Prime Minister's preferred candidate for the chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee was snubbed after Julian Lewis was appointed to the role. 

Boris Johnston had put forward former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling for the head of the influential joint committee but committee members elected former Defence Select Committee chair Julian Lewis to the top role. 

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Government whips were reportedly told to ensure Tory MPs backed Mr Grayling for the head of the committee and was expected to win the contest. 

Mr Lewis, a former Navy reserve, chaired the Defence Select Committee for four years and produced a number of high-profile reports. 


Opposition MPs were reportedly concerned that Grayling's appointment to the group would undermine its independence.

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The committee is due to publish a report on alleged Russian interference in UK politics

Mr Grayling was dubbed "Failing Grayling" in the press after a run of high-profile errors during his time as Transport Secretary, most notably, his decision to award a shipping contract which was later cancelled, costing taxpayers £50 million.