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David Cameron Is Keen To Face Commons Scrutiny

David Cameron and Andrew Mitchell (Credit: Malcolm Park / Alamy Stock Photo)

2 min read

Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, has reportedly told MPs he supports efforts to allow them to scrutinise his role.

"I have heard him say that he wants to be scrutinised,” Labour MP Chris Elmore told the latest issue of The House. Cameron, who resigned as an MP in 2016, was elevated to the Lords last month in order to enable his surprise appointment as Foreign Secretary. 

But as a peer, Cameron will not be able to answer questions in the Commons Chamber, leaving minister of state Andrew Mitchell to do so on his behalf. Elmore said the situation is “just not cricket” and was dismissive of Cameron's eligibility for the role. “You can polish it all you like, but he is not foreign secretary,” he added. 

Cameron recently appeared before the Lords European Affairs Committee for the first time since his return to Government last month, presenting him with an opportunity to be scrutinised by the House of Lords. 

However, the Procedure Committee, on which Elmore sits, has now opened an inquiry into how members of the Commons can hold secretaries of state sitting in the Lords to account.

Those submitting evidence to the inquiry were asked to comment on whether they think secretaries of state should be directly accountable to the Commons and, if so, where would be most appropriate for such scrutiny to occur.

Speaking before responses were collected, Elmore suggested Westminster Hall or Committee Room 14 may be appropriate locations to scrutinise secretaries of state, but said there were “practical questions” over how MPs would fit in each space.

He suggested a ballot system for MPs attending could be created. A Procedure Committee report is expected early in the new year.

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