Letter from Mr David Taylor MP to the
Chairman of the Committee
SELECTING MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENTARY SELECT
I understand that the Modernisation Committee
will be examining the issue of nominations to Select Committees
in the autumn. This is clearly something about which the PLP feels
strongly at the moment, and I am fully supportive of the importance
that you have attached to it. I thought I would give you some
of my own thoughts about how reforms could be made to the process.
I feel that members should be elected to a Committee
by their colleagues in their own party by way of an internal election.
Clearly the proportionality principle should stay, and the Government
should always enjoy a preponderance of members. In order, however,
to uphold the independence of Select Committees, appointments
should be, and seen to be, made independently from the Executive.
I believe this could be achieved by allowing
each member of the PLP one vote in a secret ballot for either
themselves or for another declared colleague to be placed on a
certain committee. Where seven places exist for Labour MPs on
a committee those candidates who were elected in the top seven
places would then be placed on that committee.
This system would result in less allegations
of the undue influence of the Government when creating the very
bodies that are designed to hold the Executive itself to account.
It would also certainly help to remove some of the cynicism and
criticisms that currently surround elections and the political
Recent events show that the PLP has an appetite
for radical changes to some of the ways the government, the House
of Commons and the PLP conducts its affairs.
16 August 2001