Joanna Cherry is being touted for a top House of Commons job, after losing her frontbench role with the SNP.
A number of MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee are on manoeuvres to install Ms Cherry as their new chairman, we understand.
There has been disquiet on the committee over long-serving chairman Pete Wishart taking an SNP frontbench role and being “distracted” from his duties.
Tension bubbled over ahead of Thursday’s session, when Mr Wishart asked his fellow committee members if he could change the time of the meetings to fit in with his new responsibilities as shadow Commons leader.
In response, MPs were said to have raised the prospect of Ms Cherry taking over the brief.
A committee source told us: “Pete can’t change the select committee meeting times just to suit his SNP party position.
“Given he receives additional payment as a committee chair he should not be so disrespectful to other members and prioritise his role on the committee.
“If he won’t, then another SNP MP can chair the committee.
“We know a couple have no front bench role in the SNP and would be able to dedicate fully to the task of chairing this important select committee.”
‘Tory mischief making’
Mr Wishart told us he could not comment on private committee discussions between colleagues.
Another committee member told us however that the ploy to bring Ms Cherry in was “nothing more than Tory mischief making”.
“They just can’t help themselves, always playing games,” the source said.
The committee row comes after Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg praised Ms Cherry as “one of the most intelligent and careful scrutinisers of Government”.
Ms Cherry was sacked as SNP justice and home affairs spokeswoman at Westminster on Monday, apparently because of her disagreements with party leadership, activists and other SNP MPs on a number of subjects, including transgender issues.