Four Labour MPs vie for Hodge’s PAC job

12 Jun 15

Four Labour MPs have put their names forward to replace Margaret Hodge as chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

The four – former ministers Helen Goodman, David Hanson, Meg Hillier and Gisela Stuart – were nominated for the post yesterday, meeting the threshold of 15 signatures from MPs in their own party and five from others.

On June 17 a ballot will now be held among MPs to select the chair for the PAC and all other select committees.

Goodman served as a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions among three ministerial roles between 2007 and 2010. Hanson, a privy councillor, was policing minister under Gordon Brown in the last Labour government until 2010, the latest of five ministerial roles. Hillier acted as minister in the Home Office for three years to 2010, while Stuart was a parliamentary under-secretary at the Department of Health from 1999 to 2001.

Among the nominations for the other select committee chairs, Andrew Tyrie will once again head up the Treasury committee after no-one stood against him, while Clive Betts has also retuned unopposed as chair of the communities and local government committee. Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin will chair the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs select committee.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, who chaired the health select committee at the end of the last parliament, has been re-nominated for the post, but will face a ballot against fellow Conservative MP David Tredinnick.

The education select committee will be chaired by one of three Conservative MPs – Neil Carmichael, Caroline Nokes and former children’s minister Tim Loughton – after the chair in the last parliament, Graham Stuart, decided to stand to chair the culture select committee. Stuart will face four other Conservative MPs, including Jesse Norman, to replace John Whittingdale, who is now culture secretary in the government.

Keith Vaz, the chair of the home affairs committee since 2007, will face a challenge to return to the post from Fiona Mactaggart, a former Labour Home Office minister.

Three Labour MPs, including former welfare reform minister Frank Field, are in the running to replace Dame Anne Begg as work and pensions committee chair. Begg lost her Aberdeen South seat to the Scottish National Party at the election.

Two committee chairs have been awarded to the SNP for the first time. Angus MacNeil will chair the energy and climate change committee, while Pete Wishart will head up Scottish affairs.

Conservative MPs David TC Davies and Laurence Robertson will continue as chairs of the Welsh affairs and Northern Ireland affairs committees respectively.

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