SCottISH AFFAIRS CoMMIttEE

– in the House of Commons at 8:54 pm on 15 June 2020.

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

That David Duguid be discharged from the Scottish Affairs Committee and Douglas Ross be added.—(Bill Wiggin, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)

Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip 8:58, 15 June 2020

I thank my hon. Friend Bill Wiggin for moving the motion on behalf of the Committee, of which I am a member, but I cannot allow this moment to pass without making a few comments. I emphasise that it will be just a few comments. Back in March, my hon. Friend Patrick Grady rose in this Chamber to speak on the appointment of the full membership of the Scottish Affairs Committee. He raised a number of important points regarding the outcome of the December election in Scotland and the fact that the membership of the Scottish Affairs Committee was in no way reflective of that. That situation continues. I had certainly hoped that when we saw a change of membership coming forward at this time, there might have been an opportunity to rectify that.

Photo of Patricia Gibson Patricia Gibson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Consumer Affairs)

Just to clarify, is my hon. Friend telling the House that, despite the fact that the Tories lost half their seats in Scotland at the general election, they now control and indeed dominate the Scottish Affairs Committee—the Committee that deals with an electorate that has rejected them?

Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip

That is most certainly one way that my hon. Friend could put it. It will be a shock to her that I agree. I emphasise that this is absolutely nothing about the individual Member being nominated for the Committee. [Interruption.] I give way to Andrew Bowie.

Photo of Andrew Bowie Andrew Bowie Conservative, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

I was not asking whether the hon. Gentleman would give way, but I would like to put on the record that nobody who sits under the chairmanship of Pete Wishart could ever claim, no matter what party they come from, to try to dominate the debate. I think Owen Thompson would agree with me on that point.

Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip

I absolutely agree with that, and I certainly am delighted to see the Committee under the excellent stewardship of my hon. Friend Pete Wishart. However, I want it recorded that I and my colleagues are disappointed that the opportunity has been missed for a change to the Committee’s membership to better reflect the outcome of the election in Scotland. I hope that, moving forward, the Government will consider that.

The Committee does much important work for Scotland. It is critical that it reflects the views of Scotland and is able to hear the views of Scotland. On that basis, another SNP Member on the Committee would certainly be a far fairer outcome. I emphasise again that this is absolutely nothing to do with the individual being nominated to the Committee; it is about the make-up of the Committee itself, which needs to be rectified.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means

I take it that the hon. Gentleman is not actually objecting or calling for a Division.

Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip

indicated dissent.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means

But he has used the opportunity to make his point. I am grateful to him for clarifying that.

Question put and agreed to.