Parliamentary Committees of the United Kingdom

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Committee meetings take place in committee rooms at the Palace of Westminster (right) and Portcullis House (left), often in front of press and media or in private sessions

The Parliamentary Committees of the United Kingdom are sub-legislative organizations each consisting of small number of Members of Parliament from the House of Commons, or peers from the House of Lords, or a mix of both appointed to deal with particular areas or issues; most are made up of members of the Commons. The majority of parliamentary committees are Select Committees. The remit of these committees vary depending on whether they are committees of the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

House of Commons[edit]

House of Commons of the United Kingdom.svg

Select Committees[edit]

Select committees in the Commons are designed to oversee the work of departments and agencies, examine topical issues affecting the country or individual regions, and review and advise on the procedures, workings and rules of the House.


Departmental select committees are designed to oversee and examine the work of individual government departments and any related departmental bodies and agencies.


Topical select committees examine topical issues of importance.


Internal select committees have responsibility with respect to the day-to-day running of Parliament.

General Committees[edit]


House of Lords[edit]

House of Lords.svg

The House of Lords appoint select committees to examine and explore general issues such as the Constitution or the economy.



Joint House Committees[edit]

Joint committees are committees formed to examine a particular issue, whose membership is from both the Commons and the Lords.

Former committees[edit]

Occasionally, committees will be discharged by one of the Houses of Parliament, namely the Commons or the Lords. This occurs when existing committees are no longer required or have their responsibilities transferred to a different committee, effectively rendering the original committee void. It is more common, however, for committees to be discharged as a result of the abolition of government departments, for example the abolition of the Department of Education and Skills in June 2007 resulted in the abolition of the Education and Skills Select Committee shortly afterwards.[1]




All five domestic committees were abolished in 2005 and replaced by a single committee - the Administration Committee.



The House of Commons set up eight regional select committees in November 2008, whose members were first appointed on 3 March 2009. The committees were formed of 5 Labour members, as opposed to the 9 members from various parties as was agreed in the original motion, due to the refusal of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to nominate any members as a sign of their opposition to setting up the committees.[2] The resolution that formed the committees expired at the end of the 2005/10 Parliament. The succeeding coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats chose not to renew it.[3]






External links[edit]