Mr Steerpike can exclusively reveal that former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans is to run for a senior position on the 1922 Committee executive. The recently vindicated Tory MP remains popular on the backbenches, and has been keeping a deliberately high profile since being cleared on nine counts of sexual abuse. The all-powerful committee is the repository of backbench opinion and sets the agenda when it comes to internal Tory politicking. Sources familiar with the Evans bid are quietly confident that their friend will become a significant player in Tory circles again, come decision day.

Jason McCartney, the former Liberal Democrat candidate and journalist-turned Tory MP, is also running for a top committee job, along with his namesake Karl McCartney, who enjoys are far greater respect from right-wing colleagues. The men in grey suits convene on Wednesday.

Tags: 1922 Committee, Conservatives, Nigel Evans, UK politics