NEW Forest East MP Julian Lewis has missed out on a top Commons job by just 14 votes.

The Conservative MP was up for chairman of the defence select committee, but lost out to fellow Tory Rory Stewart.

The former defence spokesman would have won if it had been a “first past the post” election, having led on first preferences by 124 votes to 113. But the MPs were using the “alternative vote” (AV) system, under which second preferences are transferred until one candidate has more than 50 per cent.

Dr Lewis won through to the last round of voting, but was defeated by 226 votes to 212.