All the chairmanships of House of Commons select committees for the new Parliament have been made, following a secret ballot.
The new Chair of the Treasury Committee is Conservative Nicky Morgan. She got 290 votes in the final round, compared to 226 for the runner up, Jacob Rees-Mogg. She will take up the role once the remaining members of the committee have been named by the House.
Commenting on her election, she said: "I am delighted to be elected as the Chair of the Treasury Committee. Parliament has a strong role to play in scrutinising the Government, and the select committee system acquires ever more importance in a hung Parliament. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Committee to consistently, impartially and fairly hold the Treasury to account."
In her election statement Morgan said:
- The Treasury Committee has an important role in the Brexit process
- She is also keen to hold inquiries into tax policy, public spending decisions, household debt, skills funding, the National Infrastructure Plan, childcare funding and income inequality
- She wants to pursue the lack of gender diversity in financial services
- She would like to re-open some of the inquiries which closed because of the election, including on housing policy and access to basic retail financial services
- She would expect the Committee to have a Deputy Chair from the Opposition and to consider the appointment of sub-committees
The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry. When the Committee has chosen an inquiry it normally issues a press notice outlining the main themes of inquiry and inviting interested parties to submit written evidence. It may also identify possible witnesses and issue specific invitations to them to submit written evidence.
Morgan has been MP for Loughborough since 2010. Her ministerial roles have included: Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities (2014-16), Financial Secretary to the Treasury (2014), Minister for Women (2014), Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2013-14), an Assistant Government Whip (-13) and the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to David Willetts MP, Cabinet Minister for Universities and Science (2010-12).
Before becoming an MP, Morgan worked as a solicitor in the City of London for 16 years specialising in mergers and acquisitions and advising on the implementation of financial services and company legislation.
Morgan was among a number of ministers close to David Cameron that were let go by PM Theresa May when she formed her first Cabinet. Morgan has since been an outspoken critic of the PM, especially May’s wish to see more grammar schools. She was an EU ‘remainer’ and has been vocal in support of a soft-Brexit.
She is married and has a son who was born in 2008.
Other select committees
Other chairs for the new Parliament relevant to our tax work include:
- Work and Pensions (Labour) – Frank Field
- Public Accounts (Labour) – Meg Hillier
- Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Labour) - Rachel Reeves
- Communities and Local Government (Labour) - Clive Betts
- Northern Ireland Affairs (Conservative) - Dr Andrew Murrison
- International Development (Labour) – Stephen Twigg
- International Trade (Scottish National Party) – Angus MacNeil
- Scottish Affairs (Scottish National Party) – Pete Wishart
- Welsh Affairs (Conservative) – David T C Davies
A full list of winning Chairs can be seen here.
Other committee members
Following the election of chairs, the remaining members of the committees can now be nominated by each party. Party numbers on each committee are broadly proportionate to their strength in the House of Commons as a whole. The principle is “that parties should elect members of select committees in a secret ballot by whichever transparent and democratic method they choose”. In practice this is a mix of work by the whips and MPs voting. Following elections within parties, the successful candidates are formally proposed to the House by the Committee of Selection. This is not expected to take place until September. This briefing paper has some information here.