Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Liaison Committee, discusses its new report into how the system of select committees can operate more effectively, both in terms of their place within the House of Commons and their external impact, in a blog originally posted on The Constitution Unit. New ways of working and more powers are suggested, such as taking a ‘digital first’ approach to reports and formalising formalising further the arrangements for the Prime Minister to appear before the Liaison Committee.
Rebecca McKee and Tom Caygill report back from the House of Commons and the Study of Parliament Group conference marking 40 years of departmental select committees.
In their nearly-eponymous 1995 hit, Reverend Black Grape, I’m a Celebrity runners-up and Bargain Hunt cheats, Black Grape, asked ‘Can I get a witness?’ In 2019, why is it that some select committees seemingly find it difficult to get female witnesses to give evidence at their sessions? Some of the answer may well be found in the gendered make-up of the committees themselves.
In September the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee published their report into Pre-Appointment Scrutiny Hearings. Robert Hazell gave evidence to the committee’s inquiry on the subject; here he discusses the report’s conclusions, and describes the events that led to its being undertaken, including two Constitution Unit studies that evaluated the effectiveness of such scrutiny.