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5.53 pm

Rosemary McKenna (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch, East) (Lab): I would like to put on record the fact that the Committee of Selection offered to meet on Monday night. The Government had no business. The hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes) said that the Committee of Selection could have met on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, but the Standing Orders do not allow that. We would not have been able to put anything on the Order Paper unless we had met on Monday night. Because we did not meet then, what is happening now is the only action open to the Government in order to get something placed on the Order Paper.

Having said that, I accept some of the concerns of my colleagues, particularly the right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir George Young) who sits on the Committee with me. It would be helpful if the Leader of the House were able to give us an assurance that this is most unusual and that she will do everything in her power to ensure that this process is not usurped again in any circumstances. If she could do that, I think that the House would accept it. We frequently amend Standing Orders, so that is not the issue. What we must do is ask the Leader of the House to give us an assurance that this is an unusual process and that she will do everything in her power to make sure that it does not happen again.

5.54 pm

Ms Harman: In response to the hon. Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Mr. Shepherd), I should say that the Modernisation Committee is different from other Select Committees. It has always been chaired by the
25 July 2007 : Column 934
Leader of the House— [Interruption.] That always has been the case by custom and practice.

Departmental Select Committees are never chaired by Cabinet Ministers. I accept the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch, East (Rosemary McKenna) that this is an exceptional process, and it is not one that I would want to hurry into on any future occasion. I accept that it is exceptional.

We have arrived at this position because the Home Affairs Committee has lost its Chair because of his appointment to the Cabinet. That is not the case with other Select Committees. I resent the suggestion that, by proposing a name for the House to vote on in substitution for another hon. Member, I am somehow questioning the competence or ability of all the other members of the Committee. I am most certainly not doing that. Far from it—least of all with regard to my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick). That is not my point. I am not saying that they are not all competent and able. Of course they are.

What I am fundamentally proposing is that the House move a currently serving member of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, which is what my right hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) is, to serve as a member of the Home Affairs Committee. If he is suitable, as we believe he is, for the House to vote him on to the Constitutional Affairs Committee, he is suitable also for the House to vote him on to the Home Affairs Committee.

I do not accept, either, that Select Committees do nothing over the summer. Whether or not they do nothing is a matter for them. I know that many of them are extremely active over the summer.

I want to correct something. I said that the Prime Minister had to deal with the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, junior Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries. I should have added Parliamentary Private Secretaries as well, because those are subsequent to the appointment of Parliamentary Under-Secretaries. It was not until it was clear who were going to be Parliamentary Private Secretaries and to what Department they would be allocated that we were in a position to know who might be available for the Home Affairs Committee.

Mr. Richard Bacon (South Norfolk) (Con): The Leader of the House said that the right hon. Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) would be moved from the Constitutional Affairs Committee to the Home Affairs Committee. Where on the Order Paper does it say that he will be moved from that Committee?

Ms Harman: What I perhaps should say is that my right hon. Friend has been voted by this House on to the Constitutional Affairs Committee. Clearly, the House regarded him as suitable for that. I am asking the House to consider him— [Interruption.] I presume he stays on both Committees unless he is removed from the Constitutional Affairs Committee. I do not, however, accept the argument that Select Committees have nothing to do over the summer.

I was asked about the salary of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and
25 July 2007 : Column 935
Skills as Chair of the Home Affairs Committee. I am advised that the House’s resolution of 2003, which deals with pay for Select Committee Chairs, provides that the salary ceases if the member becomes a Minister. No Select Committee salary will have been paid to my right hon. Friend since his appointment to the Cabinet.

I have listened to what Members have said, and I register the vehemence with which they have stated their argument; however, I considered that argument before I brought the motion before the House. I acknowledge that this is an exceptional procedure, and that it would have been better if there had been time for the matter to go before the Committee of Selection. It would be easier on me if I could simply withdraw the motion as a new and persuasive argument had caused me to change my mind—but I anticipated the argument that has been made.

I did not anticipate, however, that Members would think that there was a conspiracy behind the motion; I had hoped that they would accept that there was a question to do with timing as we are approaching the end of the Session. As Leader of the House, I must listen to the arguments that are made and work out whether it is right to put a motion to the House. In effect, this motion places a current member of the Constitutional Affairs Committee on to the Home Affairs Committee. We must make sure that we do not fail to see the wood for the trees; we must understand that that is the subject that we would vote on.

John Bercow: Will the Leader of the House give way?

Ms Harman: No. I have given way a number of times.

I come to be Leader of the House at a time when there are a great many changes strengthening the position of the House, and I fully support them. We have had independent scrutiny of appointments for the first time; we will have topical debates so that Members can swiftly ask questions of Ministers on behalf of their constituents; more Bills have been published in draft; we have had pre-legislative scrutiny; we are moving on to having post-legislative scrutiny; and we are publishing for the first time the draft legislative programme.

The work of the Leader of the House is important, and I stand by my commitment to do it in the interests of the House. However, it is also important to keep a sense of proportion. This motion is in order. It moves the Member concerned from the Constitutional Affairs Committee to the Home Affairs Committee. [Interruption.] Let me say that in another way; it takes a Member who has already been voted by the House on to the Constitutional Affairs Committee and places him on the Home Affairs Committee. The motion is in order, and I suggest that the House vote on it.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 303, Noes 85.
Division No. 201]
[6.2 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Clelland, Mr. David
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Davey, Mr. Edward
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Engel, Natascha
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Don
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Hemming, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Holmes, Paul
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley

Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunter, Mark
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, Jim
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, Mr. David
Laws, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leech, Mr. John
Lepper, David
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Olner, Mr. Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, Mr. Alan
Reid, rh John
Rennie, Willie
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rogerson, Dan
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Swinson, Jo
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Thurso, John
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek

Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Webb, Steve
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wills, Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Frank Roy and
Steve McCabe

Amess, Mr. David
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Barker, Gregory
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Browning, Angela
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Francois, Mr. Mark
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gray, Mr. James
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Hammond, Stephen
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Horam, Mr. John
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Price, Adam
Pritchard, Mark
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Rosindell, Andrew
Salmond, rh Mr. Alex
Selous, Andrew
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simpson, David
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spink, Bob
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Tredinnick, David
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Weir, Mr. Mike
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Hywel
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Wishart, Pete
Tellers for the Noes:

Sir George Young and
Sir Nicholas Winterton
Question accordingly agreed to.
25 July 2007 : Column 936

25 July 2007 : Column 937

25 July 2007 : Column 938


25 July 2007 : Column 939

Machinery of Government

6.17 pm

The Leader of the House of Commons (Ms Harriet Harman): I beg to move,


    That Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments) be amended in the Table in paragraph (2) as follows—

    (i) leave out items 2, 5, 12 and 14;

    (ii) insert, in the appropriate places, the following items:

    Business, Enterprise and

    Regulatory Reform

    Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform


    Children, Schools and


    Department for Children, Schools and Families


    Innovation, Universities

    and Skill

    Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills



    Ministry of Justice (including the work of staff provided for the administrative work of courts and tribunals, but excluding consideration of individual cases and appointments, and excluding the work of the Scotland and Wales Offices and of the Advocate General for Scotland); and administration and expenditure of the Attorney General’s Office, the Treasury Solicitor’s Department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office (but excluding individual cases and appointments and advice given within government by Law Officers)




    (1) That all proceedings of the House and of its select committees in this Parliament in respect of the Constitutional Affairs Committee shall be deemed to have been in respect of the Justice Committee.

    (2) That all proceedings of the Trade and Industry Committee in this Parliament shall be deemed to have been proceedings of the Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Committee.

    (3) That for the purposes of Standing Order No. 122A (Term limits for chairmen of select committees) the Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Committee, the Children, Schools and Families Committee, the Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee and the Justice Committee shall be deemed to be the same committees as the Trade and Industry Committee, the Education and Skills Committee, the Science and Technology Committee and the Constitutional

    Affairs Committee respectively.

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