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Changing of the guard: how the general election will shape select committees

Changing of the guard: how the general election will shape select committees

Elizabeth Bates | Dods Monitoring

3 min read Partner content

As parliament prepares to welcome its new intake, the size of which will emerge in the aftermath of the general election, political analysis by Dods considers how the makeup of select committees could change. 

In recent years the influence of select committees has increased and certain MPs have used the platform to shape the political agenda.

Keith Vaz in particular has raised his media profile and held public figures to account through his chairmanship of the Home Affairs Committee.   

In the last year alone Mr Vaz has challenged Theresa May over the delayed inquiry into child sex abuse, grilled South Yorkshire Police and the BBC over coverage of Cliff Richard’s house raid and called on the Mayor of Calais to explain why migrants were gathering at the French port.

Vaz has been committee chair since 2007, and would be able to re-stand for election as chair if re-elected, however may use the opportunity to look for a new select committee role.*



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Other possible candidates include chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Paul Blomfield - who spoke out against Sheffield United’s decision to let convicted rapist Ched Evans rejoin training at the club – and Labour’s Fiona Mactaggart, former Home Office minister and chair of the APPG on human trafficking.   

Another star on the select committee scene who may also be ousted after the general election is Labour’s Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

Ms Hodge has made waves taking on both government departments and big business in an effort to tackle tax avoidance, and seems likely to hold her parliamentary seat of Barking.

However, Ms Hodge will be forced to step down if a Labour government is elected as the PAC chair is, by convention, a member of the opposition.   

Other prominent committees that will see a change of leadership include Culture, Media and Sport, Energy and Climate Change, Foreign Affairs, International Development, Justice and Work and Pensions, as well as a few others.

The majority of this upheaval is due to MPs standing down, although some have spent the maximum amount of time allowed in the role and cannot reapply for the chair.

So as polling day draws near, we will certainly see changes of political leadership inside the committee rooms of Westminster, regardless of what happens in Downing Street.    


Read the full analysis of the future of select committee chairs here.

*Parliamentary rules state that chairs cannot remain as chair of the same committee for a period of 8 years or two Parliaments, whichever is longer.  Those select committee chairs elected midway through the 2005 Parliament would be eligible to re-stand to chair that same committee at the start of the 2015 Parliament.

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