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Labour MPs show little interest in holding the Government to account through the select committees

After having elections across the whole House of Commons for the select committee chairmen, the parties in Parliament are currently in the process of electing the remaining members of the committees, party by party (ie only Conservative MPs elect the Conservative members etc).

The Conservative MPs have a second tranche of voting today (a first tranche of votes was held last Wednesday) and all the votes will be counted tomorrow. Alas I do not have a list of which Conservative MPs put themselves forward, but suffice to say that apart from two or three committees which were undersubscribed, I understand that there were many more candidates than there are available positions for the vast majority of committees.

The same cannot be said, however, for Labour MPs. Given that the select committees are a very important way of Opposition MPs holding the Government and ministers to account, I would have thought that scores of Labour MPs would be clambering for the available places.

But no, as the Labour Uncut website reveals, there will not be contested elections for the places on more than half of the committees due to a lack of interest.

Here are the committees where insuffiicent Labour MPs wanted to seek a place to necessiatate a ballot, including - amazingly - such significant policy areas as health and education:

1. CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES – Nic Dakin, Pat Glass, Liz Kendall, Ian Mearns, Lisa Nandy. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.
2. COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Heidi Alexander, Clive Efford, Toby Perkins, Chris Williamson. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.
3. ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE – Tom Greatrex, Albert Owen, John Robertson, Alan Whitehead. ONE VACANCY REMAINS.
5. HEALTH – Rosie Cooper, Fiona Mactaggart, Grahame Morris, Valerie Vaz. ONE VACANCY REMAINS.
6. JUSTICE – Chris Evans, Sian James, Linda Riordan. TWO VACANCIES REMAIN.
7. NORTHERN IRELAND – Gemma Doyle, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, Ian Lavery, Stephen Pound. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.
8. POLITICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM – Sheila Gilmore, Tristram Hunt, Catherine McKinnell, Peter Soulsby. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.
10. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS – Eric Joyce, Austin Mitchell, Anne McGuire, Nick Smith. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.
12. SCOTTISH AFFAIRS – Cathy Jamieson, Jim McGovern, Fiona O’Donnell, Lindsay Roy. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.

And in committees for which Labour MPs will be voting for members, they werenlt exactly all rusing at once:

1. BIS (6 nominations for 4 vacancies)
(Luciana Berger, Jack Dromey, Julie Elliott, Gregg McClymont, Chi Onwurah, Rachel Reeves)
2. CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT (6 nominations for 5 vacancies)
(David Cairns, Jim Dowd, Paul Farrelly, Alan Keen, Jim Sheridan, Tom Watson)
3. DEFENCE (8 nominations for 5 vacancies)
(Thomas Docherty, Michael Dugher, David Hamilton, Dai Havard, Madeleine Moon, Alison Seabeck, Gisela Stuart, John Woodcock)
4. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (10 nominations for 5 vacancies)
(Ann Clwyd, Jeremy Corbyn, Mike Gapes, Fabian Hamilton, Mark Hendrick, Sandra Osborne, Yasmin Qureshi, Emma Reynolds, Frank Roy, David Watts)
5. HOME AFFAIRS (5 nominations for 4 vacancies)
(Steve McCabe, Alun Michael, Bridget Phillipson, Karl Turner, David Winnick)
6. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (9 nominations for 5 vacancies)
(Hugh Bayley, Russell Brown, Richard Burden, Michael McCann, Ann McKechin, Pamela Nash, Anas Sarwar, Virendra Sharma, Marsha Singh)
7. TRANSPORT (7 nominations for 4 vacancies)
(Lilian Greenwood, Tom Harris, Julie Hilling, Kelvin Hopkins, Jonathan Reynolds, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith)
8. TREASURY (9 nominations for 5 vacancies)
(Gordon Banks, John Cryer, Mark Lazarowicz, Andy Love, John Mann, Michael Meacher, George Mudie, Ian Murray, Chuka Umunna)
9. WORK AND PENSIONS (5 nominations for 4 vacancies)
(Karen Buck, Margaret Curran, Kate Green, Shabana Mahmood, Teresa Pearce)

I will post the list of Conservative MPs elected by their peers to serve on the select committees when I have them tomorrow.

Jonathan Isaby