Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr Harry Barnes MP to the Chairman of the Committee


  You will be giving consideration to the methods of determining memberships of Select Committees. I would like to see proposals that include the following points:

  1.  Labour's membership—to be determined by secret ballot within the PLP. Labour MPs who hold paid governmental positions to be excluded from voting, but PPSs to be included. These are referred to as "eligible Labour MPs" below.

    (a)  Each eligible Labour MP to be able to put their names down for two committees.

    (b)  Each eligible Labour MP to have the following maximum numbers whom they can vote for on each Committee—namely up to half the votes for the number of vacancies, ie three votes when six or seven members, two votes when four or five members, one vote when three or below.

    (c)  If an MP is elected onto more than one Committee, he or she will choose which Committee to serve upon. Runners-up will then fill the vacant positions.

  2.  Determining Chairs: under House rules all Chairs will be decided exclusively by the membership of their Committees. It is up to Opposition Parties (which could come to include Labour) to appoint members who can command the respect of a majority of a Committee, in order to become Chair.

Mr Harry Barnes MP

27 July 2001

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 12 February 2002