Beith and Bruce confirmed as Select Committee chairs

Liberal Democrat MPs Malcolm Bruce and Sir Alan Beith have been elected unopposed as Chairs of the International Development and Justice Select Committees respectively.  The positions were confirmed after nominations closed earlier tonight for all posts.

For the first time ever, Select Committees Chairs are being elected by a secret ballot of all MPs, after each Chairship was allocated to a political party in proportion to the number of MPs for each party. The committees allocated to each party were agreed by the House shortly before the Whitsun recess.

On moving the new arrangements, Leader of the House, Sir George Young said:

This is something of a landmark moment for Parliament. It is a clear break from the past. Gone are the days when the Government had the upper hand in appointing who scrutinised the Government. Now we are passing that power to the House. This was what was overwhelmingly endorsed in the previous Parliament, in accordance with the recommendations of the Wright report. We supported that from the Opposition Benches, and I am pleased to bring it before the House now from the Government Benches.

A further Select Committee will be established to scrutinise the role of Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister and the proposal of the Wright Commission to establish a Back Bench business committee will also be brought forward. Regional Select Committees, opposed by the Liberal Democrats, will not be reintroduced.

The full list of nominations is now available online.  The ballot will take place tomorrow (Wednesday), between 10 am and 5 pm.

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  • Joe Donnelly 8th Jun '10 - 9:21pm

    Brilliant stuff, If we can get the full Wright Committee proposals through. Maybe even push for the committees to have the right to compel evidence, call forward ministers for questions and that all supplementary budgets have to pass a relevant select committee vote. MP’s from around the house have been calling for those reforms and it truly would be a good step towards making our legislature balance the executive much better.

  • Malcolm Todd 9th Jun '10 - 8:55am

    To save me doing the research myself (is there an icon for “me so lazy”?), can anyone tell me how the rest of the Committee members are being selected? Is it the same old whips’ list, or will the new chair have some role?

  • Just FYI, the elections for select committee chairs are by AV.

  • “can anyone tell me how the rest of the Committee members are being selected? Is it the same old whips’ lis”

    They will be elected by the parliamentary groups using the system they prefer

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