RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans has been elected to an influential Conservative backbench committee.

Mr Evans, recently elected chairman of Tory MPs in the North West, faced a vote on Monday to join the 1922 Committee executive. The MP, who has represented the Ribble Valley since 1992, is still to be selected to fight for the constituency in next year’s general election.

He was nominated by Brooks Newmark, the Conservative MP for Braintree.

The 18-member committee meets every week while Parliament is in session, and provides a way for Conservative backbenchers to co-ordinate and discuss their views, independently of frontbenchers.

Formed in 1923, the committee, which can also have an important role in choosing the party leader, takes its name from the 1922 General Election. Mr Evans took to Facebook to announce the news, prompting comments of support and more than 50 ‘likes’.

Writing on the social networking site, he said: “Just got onto the 1922 executive committee. I’ve never been a trade unionist before.”