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Minutes of Proceedings The Committee on Standards and Privileges


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. At the Dissolution of the 1997 Parliament the membership of the Committee was:1

Mr Martin Bell OBE MP2(Independent, Tatton)
Mr Peter Bottomley MP3 (Conservative, Worthing West)
Mr Malcolm Bruce MP4 (Liberal Democrat, Gordon)
Mr Dale Campbell-Savours MP3(Labour, Workington)
Rt Hon Eric Forth MP5 (Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst)
Mr Michael Jabez Foster DL MP3(Labour, Hastings and Rye)
Mr Tom Levitt MP3 (Labour, High Peak)
Mr Terry Lewis MP3(Labour, Worsley)
Shona McIsaac MP3 (Labour, Cleethorpes)
Rt Hon Robert Sheldon MP3(Labour, Ashton under Lyne)
Rt Hon Alan Williams MP3 (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.

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

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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© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared: 24 July 2001