John Bercow tears into government over 'absurd and indefensible' committee wait

Posted On: 
24th October 2017

John Bercow has hit out at ministers for the "indefensible" delay in setting up one of Parliament's key scrutinising committees. 

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow
Credit: 
PA

The Liaison Committee, made up of the chairs of the various departmental select committees, has still not been set up more than four months after June's general election.

Typically the committee has three lengthy sessions a year grilling the Prime Minister on government policy, but Theresa May has not appeared before it since December of 2016.

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The Speaker of the House of Commons said the situation was "absurd and indefensible", noting that other groups such as the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) were also still waiting to begin their work.

“These committees are there to scrutinise the executive branch," Mr Bercow said. 

"The fact that there are these remaining committees as yet unconstituted is simply not acceptable...I can only assume that proper action will now follow.”

He was joined by the Tory chair of the Health Select Committee, Sarah Wollaston,, who said: “There is no excuse for this. It is four months since the election and [the Government] are still fobbing people off.”