Standing Orders Etc. (Energy and Climate Change)

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 10:27 pm on 28th October 2008.

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Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 10:27 pm, 28th October 2008

The Opposition welcome the proposal for a new Select Committee. Select Committees obviously do a very important task of scrutinising both Departments and their Ministers, but, equally important, they have the control to be able to call to account other senior people in their areas.

The Deputy Leader of the House was not very convincing in dealing with the questions asked by the minority parties, with which I have some sympathy. I look forward to hearing more from my hon. Friends the Members for Mid-Worcestershire (Peter Luff) and for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo), who are Chairmen of affected Select Committees. I hope that the Deputy Leader of the House will provide more suitable answers than we have had so far.

I would also be grateful if the Deputy Leader of the House gave a fuller reply to the important question asked by my right hon. Friend Mr. Jack. It is all very well for the Minister to say that there will be a review of the Energy and Climate Change Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee, but what are to be the criteria for that review? How long will it be, or will it simply go on and on as has happened in other instances? More precision would be most welcome. Otherwise, the Opposition welcome the proposed new Select Committee.

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