Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fourth Report

The Committee on Standards and Privileges

The Committee on Standards and Privileges is appointed by the House of Commons to consider specific matters relating to privileges referred to it by the House; to oversee the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards; to examine the arrangements proposed by the Commissioner for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of the Register of Members' Interests and any other registers of interest established by the House; to review from time to time the form and content of those registers; to consider any specific complaints made in relation to the registering or declaring of interests referred to it by the Commissioner; to consider any matter relating to the conduct of Members, including specific complaints in relation to alleged breaches in any code of conduct to which the House has agreed and which have been drawn to the committee's attention by the Commissioner; and to recommend any modifications to such code of conduct as may from time to time appear to be necessary. The constitution and powers of the Committee are set out in Standing Order No. 149.

The Committee consists of eleven Members, of whom the quorum for any formal proceedings is five. The members of the Committee are appointed by the House and unless discharged remain on the Committee until the next dissolution of Parliament. The present membership of the Committee is as follows:[1]

Mr Martin Bell OBE MP[2] (Independent, Tatton)
Mr Peter Bottomley MP[3] (Conservative, Worthing West)
Mr Malcolm Bruce MP[4] (Liberal Democrat, Gordon)
Mr Dale Campbell-Savours MP[3](Labour, Workington)
Rt Hon Eric Forth MP[5] (Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst)
Mr Michael Jabez Foster DL MP[3](Labour, Hastings and Rye)
Mr Tom Levitt MP[3](Labour, High Peak)
Mr Terry Lewis MP[3](Labour, Worsley)
Shona McIsaac MP[3](Labour, Cleethorpes)
Rt Hon Robert Sheldon MP[3](Labour, Ashton under Lyne)
Rt Hon Alan Williams MP[3](Labour, Swansea West)

On 1 July 1997 the Committee elected Mr Robert Sheldon as its Chairman.

The Committee has the power to require the submission of written evidence and documents, to examine witnesses and to make Reports to the House. In the footnotes to this Report, references to oral evidence are indicated by 'Q' followed by the question number, and references to the written evidence are indicated by 'Ev' followed by a page number.

The Committee may meet at any time (except when Parliament is prorogued or dissolved) and at any place within the United Kingdom. The Committee has power to order the attendance of any Member of Parliament before the committee and to require that specific documents or records in the possession of a Member relating to its inquiries, or to the inquiries of the Commissioner, be laid before the Committee. The Committee has power to refuse to allow its public proceedings to be broadcast. The Law Officers, if they are Members of Parliament, may attend and take part in the Committee's meetings, but they cannot vote.

The Reports and evidence of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee are on the internet at s&phome.htm. A list of Reports of the Committee in the present Parliament is at the end of the volume.

All correspondence should be addressed to The Clerk of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, Committee Office, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. The telephone number for general inquiries is 020 7219 6615.

1  Mr Quentin Davies MP (Conservative, Grantham and Stamford) was appointed on 25 June 1997 and discharged on 22 June 1998. Rt Hon Sir Alastair Goodlad KCMG MP (Conservative, Eddisbury until 28 June 1999) was appointed on 22 June 1998 and discharged on 19 January 1999. Rt Hon Charles Kennedy MP (Liberal Democrat, Ross, Skye and Inverness West) was appointed on 25 June 1997 and discharged on 3 November 1999. Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe MP (Conservative, Maidstone and The Weald) was appointed on 25 June 1997 and discharged on 3 December 1997. Back

2  Appointed on 3 December 1997. Back

3  Appointed on 25 June 1997. Back

4  Appointed on 3 November 1999. Back

5  Appointed on 19 January 1999. Back

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