Committee of Selection (House of Commons)

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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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[1]

Role in the selection of public bill committees[edit]

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.[3]

Current members[edit]

Members are elected at the beginning of each session. Aside from Heidi Alexander and Bill Wiggin, the members are all whips. As of July 2016, the committee's membership was as follows:

Member Party Constituency
Bill Wiggin MP (Chair) Conservative North Herefordshire
Alan Campbell MP Labour Tynemouth
Jackie Doyle-Price MP Conservative Thurrock
David Evennett MP Conservative Erith and Crayford
Anne Milton MP Conservative Guildford
Jessica Morden MP Labour Newport East
Julian Smith MP Conservative Skipton and Ripon
Mark Tami MP Labour Alyn and Deeside
Owen Thompson MP Scottish National Party Midlothian

See also[edit]

References[edit]