There are more political MPs groups in Parliament than you can poke a Mace at.
The most famous and influential in the Conservative party is the 1922 Committee, named after the year a group of Conservative backbench MPs voted to end a coalition formed by the Liberals and Conservatives.
We also have groups such as ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘Better off Out’. I was a founder member of Cornerstone but the brand and objectives of the group, which was to provide a home for MPs with similar traditionalist interests, was contaminated by Cameron’s attempt to ridicule us. No leader likes MPs meeting in groups. There is an old adage in Parliament, ‘what do you call three MPs talking in a corridor? A plot. This can be worrying if you are a leader.
I’m a supporter of Better off Out but as a single interest group it has never ignited enough interest to increase membership.
And now we have the 81, brought together with a single shared objective.
Not all the 81 will want to form a new group. Some who abstained or voted with the government will now regret doing so and may want to join.
What happened last Monday night was historic in terms of parliamentary tradition and is worthy of being honoured in the same way as the ’22 and, who knows, one day history may repeat itself.