Committee of Selection (House of Commons)
The Committee of Selection is a select committee of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Unlike the Commons' other select committees, the Committee of Selection exists by virtue of the House's Standing Orders for Private Business, its rules for bills that affect only specific organizations or individuals. Despite that, the committee is best known for appointing members of committees established under resolutions of the House and the Standing Orders for Public Business.
With few exceptions, notably the Committee of Selection itself, the Standards and Privileges Committee, and the Liaison Committee, only members of the Committee acting on its behalf may nominate new members to committees or propose the discharge of members. Appointments to select committees are made through motions put before the House of Commons, while appointments to general committees (such as public bill committees) are made by the Committee's own authority. With respect to private business, all private bills are automatically referred to the Committee, which in turn either refers unopposed bills to the Unopposed Bill Committee and refers opposed bills to committees whose members it also appoints.
Role in the Selection of Public Bill Committees
The Committee of Selection performs a crucial, yet often overlooked function in the scrutiny of legislation. The current structure of the Committee, which is dominated by party whips, means that the government effectively chooses which MPs will scrutinize its bills. Advocates of reform highlight that the current organization of the Committee means that MPs who are subject specialists or may hold views contrary to the leadership of their party can be kept off Public Bill Committees. Suggested reforms include limiting the number of whips that can serve on the Committee and allowing MPs a vote on Public Bill Committee nominations.
Members are elected at the beginning of each session. Aside from Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, the members are all whips. As of 9 May 2013, the committee's membership is as follows:
|Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (Chair)||Conservative||Cotswold|
|Heidi Alexander MP||Labour||Lewisham East|
|Tom Blenkinsop MP||Labour||Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland|
|Alan Campbell MP||Labour||Tynemouth|
|David Evennett MP||Conservative||Erith and Crayford|
|Greg Hands MP||Conservative||Chelsea and Fulham|
|Mark Hunter MP||Liberal Democrat||Cheadle|
|Anne Milton MP||Conservative||Guildford|
|Mark Tami MP||Labour||Alyn and Deeside|