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 Heidi Alexander and Bill Wiggin, the members are all whips. As of July 2016, the committee's membership was as follows:
|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|