Which Conservatives are hoping to become Select Committee Chairs?

The runners and riders for each of the Select Committees that will be chaired by Conservatives

These are the current runners and riders for each of the Select Committees which will be chaired by Conservatives.

Candidates are able to be nominated up to the day before the ballot due in two weeks time, so there is still time for MPs to throw their hat into the ring.

Treasury Select Committee

The Conservative Andrew Tyrie has been Chair of the Committee since 2010.  Mark Garnier and Jesse Norman, two Conservative members of the committee had suggested that they might challenge him.

Jesse Norman has now stepped aside to put his name forward as Chair of the Culture Media and Sport Committee and Mark Garnier has now said that he has withdrawn from the race and will support Andrew Tyrie’s re-election.

Foreign Affairs Select Committee

There is a battle for the Chairmanship between the Conservative MPs John Baron, Crispin Blunt, Richard Graham, Daniel Kawczynski & Nadhim Zahawi all saying that they are interested in standing. There is a division over Middle East policy and the approach to the EU. Nadhim Zahawi is seen as more pro-Israeli candidate and Crispin Blunt a figure more sympathetic to the Palestinians. Nadhim Zahawi has been involved in the debate about the future of Iraq. He’s from an Iraqi Kurdish family and his family fled Saddam’s Iraq when he was 9.  As  a rebel on Lords reform in the last parliament and an independent streak,  Crispin Blunt is unlikely to be the front runner amongst Conservatives, but in a contest where support from opposition MPs can be critical to the outcome he might do well with Labour and SNP MPs.

Richard Graham will be a strong candidate for Conservative MPs. He is a former FCO PPS and was a FCO mandarin before working in business in Asia.

Euro-rebel John Baron would be the Euro-sceptics ‘awkward squad’ choice of chairman.

Health Select Committee

Dr Sarah Woolaston was only elected as chair of the select committee last year when Stephen Dorrell stepped down. She is popular across the Commons and is likely to win an election if she is challenged for the role.  Former member of the Committee, David Tredinnick, is said to be campaigning for the role.

DCMS Select Committee

The decision to put John Whittingdale, the former Chair of the Select Committee in the Cabinet has created a vacancy. Interestingly, Graham Stuart, the former Chairman of the Education Select Committee, has said that he will run to replace Whittingdale.

Stuart will face tough competition from Damien Collins, a former member of the Committee who has gained a profile as a critic of FIFA and possibly the former Policing Minister, Damien Green.  If Green is elected he will have the job of scrutinising his former researcher, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.

Another name in the frame is Jesse Norman, now he has decided not to run as Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. Jesse Norman has played a major role in saving his local football club, campaigning for non-league football, as well as other DCMS areas like rural mobile reception and high speed broadband. His independence of thought is respected across the Commons.

Colne Valley MP, Jason McCartney, has declared that he is a candidate.  Before being elected, Jason was a BBC and ITV journalist, including a spell as the presenter of the ITV regional news programme Calendar.  He is a former Chairman of the ITV APPG and a fan of brass bands.

Education Select Committee

Those fighting to replace Conservative Graham Stuart and head up the Education Select Committee include Caroline Nokes, the MP for Romsey in Hampshire, who has been a campaigner on issues affecting children with special needs; former member of the Work and Pensions Committee and MP for Newton Abbot, Anne Marie Morris; and, Neil Carmichael, the MP for Stroud, who has an interest in education issues and was a university lecturer before being elected.

Mr Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, who served as children’s minister from 2010-12 has recently declared his candidacy. Loughton is an independent voice who often clashed with Michael Gove’s DfE team over the lack of priority for children’s issues rather than schools and education in the department. His passion for education and children’s policy is widely respected.

Environment and Rural Affairs Select Committee

The departure of Anne McIntosh from Parliament after she was deselected has opened a vacancy as Chair of this Committee. Farmer and former MEP, Neil Parish, is standing for the role, but is being challenged by former Whip, Bill Wiggin, who served as a shadow DEFRA minister prior to the 2010 General Election.

Defence Select Committee

The Conservative’s Bob Stewart, Julian Lewis & Richard Benyon are running to replace Rory Stewart as chairman. Some have suggested that the decision to make Stewart a Minister was a ploy to remove an effective critic of Government’s cuts to the MOD budget, so Ministers will be nervous about the result of this election. All of the candidates have been critical of the Government’s plans to deliver further savings to the defence budget, appealing both to the views of Conservative backbenchers and making the case to Labour MPs that they will be fearless in criticising Conservative Ministers.

Justice Select Committee

This used to be a committee chaired by the Lib Dems, but will now be chaired by a Conservative. There has been a suggestion that former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, might stand which would make Ministers nervous because he combines talent with a strong opposition to the Government’s plans for the future of the Human Rights Act.

Eurosceptic Edward Leigh MP is also in the running for this post along with former Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly; the Enfield Southgate MP, David Burrowes; John Howell, MP for Henley; and, the former Minister, Bob Neill.

Northern Ireland Select Committee

The former Chair, Tewksbury MP Laurence Robertson, has said that he is running for re-election as chair of the Committee.  He gained a lot of profile for the Select Committee’s report criticising the system of providing “comfort letters” sent to “on-the-run” suspects of terrorism offences who hadn’t being prosecuted.

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee  

The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee was established in 2010 to scrutinise the political reform agenda driven by Nick Clegg, in his role as Deputy PM. This committee has now been abolished and the role of scrutinising constitutional reform has been added to the work of the former Public Administration Committee, which was previously focused on the role of the Civil Service and the administration of Government . The Committee was chaired by Bernard Jenkin MP in the last parliament and it is likely he will be elected to chair the new Committee with its expanded role

Procedure Committee

Charles Walker gained significant support from opposition MPs in his defence of the Speaker against an attempt by the Government to change the rules of his re-election. It is likely that he will be re-elected as chair of the Committee.

Science and Technology Committee  

Previously chaired by Labour’s Andrew Miller, this committee has now been allocated to the Conservatives. The Bracknell MP and part-time GP, Philip Lee; Stevenage MP, Stephen McPartland; and, the MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe, are all in the running. The MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, Nicola Blackwood, has also expressed interest in the post.

Welsh Affairs Committee

It seems likely that Monmouth MP, David TC Davies, will be re-elected as Chair of this Committee.

Women and Equalities Committee 

This is a brand new committee which emerged after a cross-party campaign in the last parliament for a committee to look at equality issues across Government. The campaign was led by Yvette Cooper, Jo Swinson, Maria Miller, Mary Macleod, Caroline Dinenage, Fiona MacTaggart, Therese Coffey.

Despite suggestions that the committee would be more credible if male and female MPs stood for the chair it seems that, the former Secretary of State for DCMS and equalities, Maria Miller, is standing for the role as yet unopposed.

Our review of the Labour and SNP candidates can be found here.