COMMONS

Chair nominations for Backbench Business Committee

The nominations for Select Committee Chairs ran from 4-10 June and the ballot will be on Wednesday 17 June from 10am to 5pm.

On this page you can find the full list of nominees for the Backbench Business Committee, the Committee Chair will be a member of a party not represented by Her Majesty's Government. 

Candidates for the Backbench Business Committee require the signatures of between 20 and 25 Members, at least 10 of whom are members of a party represented in Her Majesty’s Government and at least 10 members of another party or of no party.

Nominated by (Government party)

Tim Loughton, Karen Lumley, Mr Simon Burns, David T.C. Davies, Zac Goldsmith, Nicola Blackwood, Dr Sarah Wollaston, Alec Shelbrooke, Chloe Smith, Stephen Phillips

Nominated by (non-Government parties)

Mr Clive Betts, Paul Flynn, Ann Coffey, Mr Khalid Mahmood, Ruth Smeeth, Naz Shah, Valerie Vaz, John Mann, Holly Lynch, Huw Irranca-Davies

Statement

Now, more than ever, Back Benchers need to be a powerful voice in Parliament.  It is vital that we have the opportunity to raise issues, campaign, represent our constituents and challenge where we feel necessary.  I want to Chair the Back Bench Business Committee to make sure that our voice is heard. Please vote for me.

Since being elected, I have held debates in the Chamber and Westminster Hall on topics including electoral reform, gender pay equality and human rights, as well as key local issues that affect my constituents.  These debates have led to changes in legislation.  They have shaped the development of policy.  Perhaps most importantly, they have shaped the public perception of these issues.  I know first-hand the potential for change that being a Back Bencher can, and does, bring.  I want all colleagues to be able to use the tools available to them and I will fight to make sure those rights continue.

I hope you recognise me as a fair and collaborative MP who wants to effect positive change.  In my role as Chair, I would not be swayed by party politics as the issues we raise are bigger than that. I am committed to ensuring that a strong sense of democracy is maintained, built upon and that we can continue our role as vocal representatives for the causes we champion.

If you have already committed your vote to another MP, I would be grateful if you would consider me as your second preference.

Nominated by (Government Party)

Mr Robin Walker, Mr Jonathan Djanogly, Mark Garnier, Christopher Pincher, James Morris, Steve Brine, James Cleverly, Philip Davies, John Howell, Sir David Amess, Bob Blackman

Nominated by (non-Government Party)

Kelvin Hopkins, Helen Jones, Mr Iain Wright, Mr Kevan Jones, Grahame Morris, John McDonnell, Kate Green, Richard Burgon, Chris Stephens, Fiona Mactaggart, Clive Lewis, Jo Stevens, Mr David Hanson

Statement

The Backbench Business Committee was established at the beginning of the 2010-15 Parliament in June 2010, following a recommendation from the Commons Reform or Wright Committee, in November 2009.

It was established to determine the Backbench nominated business to be taken in the main Chamber of the House of Commons or Westminster Hall on days or parts of days allotted for Backbench business. 35 days per session were allotted, of which at least 27 had to be in the chamber.
 
I am asking you to support my Candidacy to be Chair of the Backbench Business Committee in this Parliament.
 
With a long track record in local government, and as a member of the Backbench Business Committee for all but a few months of the last Parliament, I feel I have the necessary experience, attributes and understanding to successfully fulfil the role.

The Backbench Business Committee has been a vital vehicle to allow the voice of backbench Members of Parliament be heard in the Chamber of the House of Commons and in Westminster Hall. It has been a well-used tool in holding the executive to account, as well as airing issues that would otherwise be lost in the cut and thrust of dealing with Government business. 

The opportunity to hold backbench sponsored debates in the Chamber, such as the debates on the badger cull and on the Animal welfare Act 2006, through the role of the Backbench Business Committee, was new in the last Parliament and it is true to say that the role of the Committee itself is evolving over time. I am committed to ensuring that this process will continue should opportunities arise.
 
I am a dedicated backbencher and want to continue the previous chair’s role of championing issues of business put forward for debate by colleagues from the back benches, from all parties in Parliament, on behalf of their constituents. Given the opportunity, I will remain open, approachable, friendly and attentive to colleagues from all sides of the House so that your voice and, through you, the voice of your constituents can be heard.
 
I appreciate that you are all extremely busy and therefore I have deliberately kept this brief. However, should you have any specific questions on the running of the committee from 2010 – 2015, how best to make an application to the committee in this session, or any other general question about my candidacy please to do not hesitate to contact me.

Could I also refer colleagues to the Special report of the Backbench Business Committee HC1106 that we published on 26 March 2015.

Nominated by (Government Party)

Daniel Kawczynski, Mr Nigel Evans, Chris White, Martin Vickers, Bob Stewart, Mr Gary Streeter, Jason McCartney, Robert Neill, Mr Laurence Robertson, Jeremy Lefroy, Mr Steve Baker

Nominated by (non-Government Party)

Paul Blomfield, Dr Rupa Huq, Sir Gerald Kaufman, Fabian Hamilton, Dr Alan Whitehead, Margaret Hodge, Ann Clwyd, Mr Virendra Sharma, John Pugh, Barbara Keeley, Sammy Wilson, Siobhain McDonagh, Jim Dowd, Michelle Thomson

Statement

The most interesting and innovative contributions to our debate often come, not from the Government or even from the Opposition, but from the ordinary backbencher with the freedom to speak their mind. This is something we saw again and again in the last Parliament, where in a few short years the Backbench Business Committee transformed our work in the House of Commons and empowered backbenchers to a remarkable degree. It is one of the most successful innovations of Parliament in recent times and I plan to build on this great success and the work of the committee brilliantly led by Natascha Engel in the last parliament.

Having been a backbencher for most of my career, I know the challenges we face in getting our voices heard and influencing policy. This has started to change for the better in recent years, and as Chair of the Committee I would vigorously defend the rights of backbenchers in our vital task of holding the executive and the party leaderships to account. These are early days for the Committee and its full potential has yet to be realised. I am committed to building a team that will champion the backbencher and fight for the maximum amount of time for backbench debates.

As a very active backbencher, I have worked with colleagues from all parties across a wide range of issues in select committees, all party groups and parliamentary commissions. From chairing the Education Select Committee for ten years I garnered extensive experience of working on a cross party basis and developing a consensual approach to problem solving. Great ideas and campaigns come from all different political persuasions and I would make sure that the Committee was balanced and impartial, giving a fair hearing to all parties.

This is a very different House of Commons and we must make sure that every Member from every party has a full opportunity to raise debates on the issues that matter to them and to their constituents, and that the full impact of these debates is felt. Chairing the Backbench Business Committee is a vital role and I intend to make us an even more powerful and positive force in this Parliament. I would be very grateful for your support and please don’t hesitate to get in touch any time to talk about my plans for the Committee.