Regional Select Committee (London)

Part of Consolidated Fund Bill – in the House of Commons at 10:19 pm on 14th December 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government), Vice-Chair (Youth), Conservative Party 10:19 pm, 14th December 2009

I intend to challenge the Government's motion, but I think it might be a good idea first to establish, briefly, the Select Committee's purpose, so that we can assess whether its proposed members will be able to do a good job.

In June, when we first discussed this topic on the Floor of the House, the Leader of the House spoke of an accountability gap. I think that many Members-certainly Conservative Members-felt that there was an accountability gap in democracy in Britain, but that it had less to do with the London Committee than with a Prime Minister who refused to call a general election.

The Leader of the House seemed to feel that, although we had a Mayor of London, a London assembly, a Government office for London and a plethora of London Members of Parliament, that was somehow not enough. She clearly feared that some issues, such as Heathrow, might slip through the net and not be debated properly. She clearly also feared that the work of, I think, 41 other Select Committees would not be sufficient, and that we would therefore need a further Select Committee to examine London issues in particular.

That is interesting, because London issues have already been examined by many Select Committees, as is clear from the many Select Committee reports on London that have been produced over the past five years. Leafing through them, I spotted a report on the congestion charge by the Transport Committee, which I understand also recently examined the London underground. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee conducted a special inquiry into the London Olympics. The Education and Skills Committee, when it still existed, looked into skills in London. I am sure that many Members were concerned to read the report of the Home Affairs Committee-

Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website