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 (Dept) 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.[1]
Type Committee Chair Responsibility
Dept Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee Iain Wright Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and related bodies
Dept Communities and Local Government Select Committee Clive Betts Communities and Local Government
Dept Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Jesse Norman Department for Culture, Media & Sport
Dept Defence Select Committee Julian Lewis Ministry of Defence
Dept Education Select Committee Neil Carmichael Department for Education and related bodies
Dept Energy and Climate Change Select Committee Angus MacNeil Department for Energy and Climate Change and related bodies
Dept Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Neil Parish Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and associated bodies
Dept Foreign Affairs Select Committee Crispin Blunt FCO
Dept Health Select Committee Sarah Wollaston Department of Health
Dept Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz Home Office and related bodies
Dept International Development Select Committee Stephen Twigg Department for International Development
Dept Justice Select Committee Bob Neill Ministry of Justice, related agencies including the Crown Prosecution Service, and other agencies that report to the Lord Chancellor
Dept Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Laurence Robertson the work of the devolved government and the Northern Ireland Office
Dept Political and Constitutional Reform Committee political and constitutional reform, scrutinises the work of the Deputy Prime Minister in this area
Dept Science and Technology Select Committee Nicola Blackwood the government office for science
Dept Scottish Affairs Committee Pete Wishart the work of the devolved government and the Scotland Office
Dept Transport Select Committee Louise Ellman Department for Transport
Dept Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs
Dept Welsh Affairs Select Committee David TC Davies the work of the devolved government and the Wales Office
Dept Work and Pensions Select Committee Frank Field Department for Work and Pensions
Topical Environmental Audit Select Committee Huw Irranca-Davies examines the contribution of government policies to environmental protection and sustainable development
Topical European Scrutiny Committee examines key EU documents, as well as deciding which documents should be debated on the floor of the Commons
Topical Liaison Committee examines the work of select committees in general, as well as hearing annual evidence from the Prime Minister
Topical Public Accounts Select Committee Meg Hillier examines government and parliamentary expenditure to ensure honesty and fairness
Topical Public Administration Select Committee Bernard Jenkin examines the work and administration of the Civil Service, as well as reports from the Parliamentary Ombudsman
Topical Arms Export Controls Committee composed of members of the Business, Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Development committees, examines exports of arms from the UK
Topical Regulatory Reform Committee examines draft legislative reform orders as proposed under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, as well as regulation in general
Topical Select Committee on Statutory Instruments examines all statutory instruments laid before the Commons
Topical Women and Equalities Maria Miller
Topical Petitions Helen Jones
Internal Administration Committee examines the services offered to members of the Commons, as well as services offered to the public
Internal Backbench Business Committee Ian Mearns determines business to be debated at certain times set aside for backbenchers
Internal Finance and Services Committee examines the budget and expenditure of the House of Commons, including the administration budget
Internal Members' Allowances Committee
Internal Committee on Standards Kevin Barron oversees Parliamentary standards and members' interests and conduct
Internal Committee of Privileges
Internal Procedure Committee Charles Walker examines the practice and procedures of the Commons in dealing with public business
Internal Committee of Selection recommends the appointment of members to parliamentary committees

General Committees[edit]

Others[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.

Topical[edit]

Internal[edit]

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.[2]

Commons[edit]

Departmental[edit]

Domestic[edit]

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

Internal[edit]

Regional[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

Lords[edit]

Topical[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Joint[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]