Major's man makes it to No 1
He broke with previous Tory policy earlier this year when he told heads that there would be no "going back to the 50s" to revisit the debate on grammar schools, under the Tories.
Mr Collins was elected to the constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria in 1997, with a majority of 4,500.
He was John Major's press secretary during the 1992 general election and during the 1995 Tory leadership election.
Since 1997 he has served as junior whip, and a senior vice-chairman of the party, as well as being the shadow spokesman for the Cabinet Office and for transport.