Politics.co.uk Blog

Thursday, 27 May 2010

All change on the committee corridor

The Speaker may have been re-elected, the pomp of the Queen's Speech may be over and done with, but there is still plenty of settling-in to come in Westminster.

Next on the list for many veteran MPs are the select committees, a vital outlet for those who need to feel self-important but have never quite made it on to the frontbench.

In fact the select committees do a vital job: they are crucial to the functioning of parliament in holding the government to account. Arguably the most senior select committee chairs have more influence than the lowliest ministers of state.

This is why the new process of electing these committee chairs is so important. We discovered this week the allocations by party of the committees, which mean in some cases there are inevitably going to be new MPs filling vital roles.

We're going to be investigating who's looking promising in the next few days. But for now, here's a list of the committees where a bit of internal politicking is called for.

Business, innovation and skills - Conservative (as before, but former chairman Peter Luff is now procurement minister in the Ministry of Defence)
Education - Conservative
Energy and climate change - Conservative
Environmental audit - Labour
Foreign affairs - Conservative
Health - Conservative
Northern Ireland - Conservative
Public accounts - Labour
Public administration - Conservative
Science and technology committee - Labour
Treasury - Conservative
Welsh affairs - Conservative
Work and pensions committee - Labour (ex-chairman Terry Rooney lost his seat)

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