VETERAN MP Sir Bernard Jenkin has been appointed as the chairman of a committee which will scrutinise the work of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson gave Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard, 61, the additional responsibility for scrutiny by making him the chairman of the Liaison Committee.

The group, comprised of the chairman of the Joint Committee on Human Rights and 32 select committees, is in place to effectively question the Prime Minister’s actions.

In his new role, Sir Bernard will lead a team expected to quiz the Prime Minister on a variety of issues.

The appointment of the Vote Leave advocate was met with a mixed response, and some MPs, including 16 Conservatives, even attempted to prevent it.

But Sir Bernard has assured his constituents, fellow politicians, and the country, that he will remain impartial and act independently, despite his Tory party affiliation and his support of Leave colleague Mr Johnson.

“It didn’t come as a surprise but it became clear that the Government taking the initiative was going to be divisive,” he said yesterday.

“It has upset some people but the Labour Party, for example, didn’t officially oppose it and my first loyalty is now to the committee.”

He added: “I have assured both the house in my speech, and the committee, that I will be independent and impartial, and nobody has doubted me on that.

“I have already made it clear that my first priority as chairman is to ensure Boris Johnson appears very soon before the committee.

“The main complaints were about the procedure really and people have told me they didn’t vote against it because of me.”

Sir Bernard, who has also chaired the Public Administration select committee, said: “I bring a lot of experience to the committee, I have served on it for ten years, so I think am well qualified for the job.”