Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from the Scottish National Party Group Leader to the Chairman of the Committee


  The Plaid Cymru/SNP joint group welcome your own comments on this matter, and we thought that this issue, and the broader debate, were handled well by you and by the chair of the Committee of Selection.

  Our group is particularly keen to secure a member on the Treasury Committee, and support moves to extend the size of this committee to allow an additional minor party. As you know, there were 12 members on the Treasury Committee during the last parliament, and we hope that there can be movement on this front in the autumn, as discussed.

  In addition, the joint group would be keen to have a representative on the European Scrutiny Committee—with both SNP and Paid Cymru members happy to serve on this committee throughout the course of this parliament.

  On the wider problem, there is an issue of principle in relation to the Liberal Democrats acting on behalf of the minority parties in these and other negotiations. It might help remove the problem if the third largest opposition group/group, SNP/Plaid Cymru in this parliament, had direct involvement in the discussions, and were able to represent the minority interest in the House. We will seek to discuss this matter in some detail with the Ulster Unionists and other minority parties over the next few months, but early indications suggest that they are sympathetic to minority party representation being dealt with in this way.

Mr Alex Salmond MP

17 July 2001

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