Thank you for contacting me about the Selection Committee.
These motions have been designed to ensure that the Government’s working majority is available right across Parliament, both on the floor of the House and in committees. To suggest that this is either a ‘power grab’ or unprecedented is misleading. Where there is an even number of members on a committee there will be parity with other parties. A committee with an odd number of members will see a majority of one.
This is simply about ensuring that detailed legislation can be dealt with in committee, as usual, rather than the Commons having to reverse amendments made by an Opposition-controlled committee. This would significantly restrict the amount of business Parliament can consider at this crucial time. When the Labour Government was faced with a similar situation in 1976 they passed a motion for a majority of one in Standing Committees.
The Government acknowledges the important role that Parliament plays in scrutinising, and often enhancing legislation. However it is also important that we are provided with the opportunity to implement the legislative commitments made in the Queen’s Speech as well as to ensure that we leave the European Union in an orderly fashion.
As a Member of Parliament it is important that we not only deliver on Brexit but also provide the economic security and fairness that is inbuilt to our legislative programme. These motions are a vital tool in achieving those aims.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.