Public Administration Select Committee

10 Jun 2010 12:19:35

Select Committee election results: Labour and Liberal MPs line up behind the Conservative establishment

I wondered earlier this week here whether Labour MPs would use the Select Committee elections to make life difficult for David Cameron.

They didn't.  Instead, they lined up behind the Conservative establishment candidates. Andrew Tyrie took the Treasury Select Committee; Richard Ottaway, Foreign Affairs (a big, big consolation prize, after his defeat in the 1922 Committee Chairmanship election); James Arbuthnot, Defence; Stephen Dorrell, Health; Tim Yeo, Climate Change. Anne McIntosh, who won the Environment Committee, leans towards the left of the Party.

I didn't, of course, see anyone cast a ballot paper.  But unless Conservative MPs turned out en masse to vote against the Party's right - an unlikely course of action, given the '22 Executive results - Liberal and Labour support for less spiky candidates provides the only comprehensible explanation of the results.

It would be unfair to view the victors as patsies.  Tyrie, in particular, has a track record of independent-mindedness.  But ask yourself whether Cameron Towers would prefer the winners to, say, Patrick Mercer at Defence or Peter Bone at Health (let alone Nadine) or Philip Hollobone at Climate Change, and there's only one answer.

Bernard Jenkin and Chris Chope are both seen as men of the right.  But Chope's used the Chamber to launch independent-minded assaults on establishment causes, and it's noticeable that he lost out in the tussle for the Public Administration Committee Chairmanship.

John Whittingdale at Culture and Greg Knight at Procedure, both No Turning Back Group stalwarts, are in unopposed. Graham Stuart won what should have been, even if it wasn't, a close-fought battle for the Education Committee.

Full list of victors.

Paul Goodman

6 Jan 2009 15:19:44

Is lobbying regulated adequately?

The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee published a report yesterday. A thorough investigation into lobbying, it calls for a statutory register of lobbying activities:

"Lobbying the government should, in a democracy, involve explicit agreement about the terms on which this lobbying is conducted. The result of doing nothing would be to increase public mistrust of Government, and to solidify the impression that government listens to favoured groups—big business and party donors in particular—with far more attention than it gives to others."

The Association of Professional Political Consultants regulates the industry, but on a voluntary basis, and the committee called this arrangement "little better than the Emperor's new clothes". It also expressed concern about the high influx of former ministers into the industry.

A summary of the report and a link to the whole thing - which calls for far greater transparency - is available here.

Tom Greeves, who wrote this post, undertakes work for a variety of PR and lobbying companies. (And is indeed available for more of it!)