Bedding Down, Treading Water and Taking Two Steps Forward: Gender Equality and the 2019-20 House of Commons Select Committee Elections

Stephen Holden Bates (University of Birmingham, UK)

Stephen McKay (University of Lincoln, UK)

Mark Goodwin (Coventry University, UK)

The results of the elections for the UK House of Commons Select Committees are out[1]!

The 2010 Wright Reforms, designed to increase the standing of Parliament in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal, are now a decade old. One of the main reforms introduced was to alter the method of selection for House of Commons Select Committees[2] from one of appointment by party managers to one of election by the whole House (in the case of chairships) and by party caucuses (in the case of membership). This reform has been hailed by many as one of the reasons why select committees have become an ever more prominent and prestigious part of Parliament. There is also evidence that the reform has been good for some aspects of gender equality within the committee system, particularly in terms of female MPs becoming committee chairs[3]. Below we consider the outcomes of the latest round of select committee elections and argue that, in terms of female representation, they are a case of simultaneously bedding down, treading water and taking two steps forward.

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Standing up for parliament: how non-elected officials represent parliament as an institution

Standing up for parliament: how non-elected officials represent parliament as an institution

In a new Political Studies article David Judge and Cristina Leston-Bandeira identify non-elected officials rather than elected members as those who ‘speak for’ and ‘act for’ parliaments as institutions most often. In this post, originally posted on The Constitution Unit, they discuss this paradox and some of their key findings in relation to the UK parliament.

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