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Select committee chairs announced – Hillier takes over at PAC

Meg Hillier MP is to chair the Public Accounts Select Committee, it has been announced, as the winners of the elections for the House of Commons Select Committee chairs are revealed.

Hillier has big shoes to fill as she takes over from Margaret Hodge MP who was known for her ferocity in taking on everyone from ministers to multinationals on issues such as tax avoidance.

Keith Vaz MP remains as Home Affairs Committee chairman while Frank Field MP takes on Work and Pensions.

Some 621 MPs voted in the elections, which have replaced a system where the whips got to choose which MPs would chair the committees.

Twelve of the 27 committee chairmen had already been elected unopposed.

The new chairs are:

  • Backbench Business Committee - Lab - Ian Mearns
  • Business, Innovation and Skills Committee - Lab - Iain Wright
  • Culture, Media and Sport Committee - Con - Jesse Norman
  • Defence Committee - Con - Julian Lewis
  • Education Committee - Con - Neil Carmichael
  • Environmental Audit Committee - Lab - Huw Irranca-Davies
  • Foreign Affairs Committee - Con - Crispin Blunt
  • Health Committee - Con - Sarah Wollaston
  • Home Affairs Committee - Lab - Keith Vaz
  • International Development Committee - Labour - Stephen Twigg
  • Justice Committee - Con - Robert Neill
  • Petitions Committee - Lab - Helen Jones
  • Public Accounts Committee - Lab - Meg Hillier
  • Science and Technology Committee - Con - Nicola Blackwood
  • Work and Pensions Committee - Lab - Frank Field

Those who were elected unopposed are:

  • Communities and Local Government Committee - Lab - Clive Betts
  • Energy and Climate Change Committee - SNP - Angus McNeil
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee - Con - Neil Parish
  • Northern Ireland Committee - Con - Laurence Robertson
  • Procedure Committee - Con - Charles Walker
  • Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee - Con - Bernard Jenkin
  • Scottish Affairs Committee - SNP - Pete Wishart
  • Standards Committee - Lab - Kevin Barron
  • Transport Committee - Lab - Louise Ellman
  • Treasury Committee - Con - Andrew Tyrie
  • Welsh Affairs Committee - Con - David TC Davies
  • Women and Equalities Committee - Con - Maria Miller

The chairs are elected using an alternative vote system, where losing candidates’ votes can be redistributed. Some, like Public Accounts and Backbench Business, are reserved to the Opposition, but the rest are parcelled out in proportion to the parties' strength.

(Image source: PA)

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