1.In response to our call for proposals for new special inquiry (formerly ad hoc) committees in 2020–2021, we received a combined total of 35 submissions from members of the House, consistent with the large number of responses received in previous years. In April we were due to undertake our regular process of shortlisting these proposals, a number of which made reference to COVID-19, with a view to recommending four new special inquiry committees. In late March and early April, however, several members of the Liaison Committee, in addition to a number of members of the House, suggested that the usual special inquiry process be ‘paused’ in order to allow a degree of re-focusing upon COVID-19. It was suggested that some committee resource could be dedicated to scrutiny of the Government response to COVID-19, and to understanding the wider and longer-term impacts for the economy, society, technology and international relations.
2.In response, in our 1st report we proposed the establishment of a committee to scrutinise the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic and social wellbeing of the United Kingdom. The Committee was appointed on 11 June 2020 and is expected to report on its second inquiry in Spring 2021.
3.The Liaison Committee reconvened on 7 December to consider the proposals we received this year, all of which are published online. The titles of these proposals are listed in Appendix 2, and the full text of the proposals is available at: .
4.We considered all the proposals received in accordance with our published criteria for selection, as follows:
5.Three proposals were shortlisted, two of which were subsequently withdrawn. Lord Browne of Ladyton withdrew his submission as he preferred to support the appointment of a sessional committee on the environment and climate change. Lord Puttnam withdrew his submission on the ‘Future of the High Street’ in the light of the current inquiry by the House of Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry ‘Supporting our high streets after COVID-19’.
6.Lord Baker was invited to present his proposal on ‘Youth unemployment’ to the Liaison Committee on 7 December. A transcript of this meeting was taken.
7.This report sets out our recommendation to the House to appoint a new special inquiry Committee on youth unemployment.
1 Due to reasons related to COVID-19 and resourcing pressures, two proposals were chosen in April of this year and a second round was held a few months later and opened in October. All the outstanding proposals from the first round were considered alongside the additional proposals in the second round. Making a total of 35
2 Liaison Committee, (1st Report, Session 2019–21, HL Paper 56)
3 Lord Browne of Ladyton’s proposal was withdrawn but can be found at
4 Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry ‘Supporting our high streets after COVID-19’: