COMMONS

Chair nominations for Home Affairs 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 Home Affairs Committee, the Committee Chair will be a member of the Labour Party.

Nominated by (own party)

Margaret Hodge, Ian Mearns, Kate Green, Nia Griffith, Jeremy Corbyn, Jess Phillips, Bill Esterson, Alison McGovern, Liz McInnes, Dr Rupa Huq, Daniel Zeichner, Mr Gavin Shuker, Ann Coffey, Diana Johnson, Yvonne Fovargue

Nominated by (other parties)

Mark Durkan, Daniel Kawczynski, Damian Green, Tommy Sheppard, Guto Bebb

Statement

In Short: 
I have relevant experience, I will involve all members of the committee fully in its work, and use thorough inquiry to uncover both immediate and longer term weaknesses in order to improve the way the Home Office works. My aim is fewer victims of crime, effective and fair immigration control, less drug abuse and an end to home grown terrorism.

Experience
Chair of the All-Party Group on Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery since 2013, worked on pre-legislative scrutiny and in committee on Modern Slavery Act 2015, achieving measures on slavery in supply chains which I first proposed in a ten minute rule bill in 2012

  • Member of the Intelligence and Security Committee 2014-2015
  • Member of the Public Accounts Committee 2011-2014
  • Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities 2010-2011
  • Founded All-Party Group on Prostitution and Global Sexual Exploitation
  • Home Office Minister 2003-2006
  • Former Director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Approach
It’s important that the committee digs into public policy and administration, making sure that outcomes match ministerial intentions, or showing why intentions are flawed.  If our conclusions are driven only by party allegiance or are a result of grudging compromises they are unlikely to change anything.  So I will encourage forensic examination.

I will involve all members of the committee in planning and participating in our inquiries and communicating their outcomes. I will always be in command of the brief but I will give every member a chance to develop and lead on areas of expertise.

We can achieve better outcomes for victims of crime, the administration of immigration control could be both fair and effective and it is possible to prevent the growth of new forms of crime. The point of a select committee is not just to expose system failures but, by identifying weaknesses and learning from successes, to make sure the system works in future. Clear goals can help that.

Issues
Sexual violence and murder, human trafficking, how to manage migration and how to prevent people from being recruited to terrorism are all important and urgent issues of study.  I also hope to focus on issues which cut across departments, such as the contribution of police to prosecutions, or child abuse and exploitation: these could involve collaboration with the Justice or Education select committees if they wished.  In addition it is vital that we address the effectiveness of action on new issues and crimes which are growing, including fraud, legal highs and cybercrime.  Longer term issues, including the future of policing by consent and how to make a success of a racially diverse society, are also important.

The issues that the Home Office deals with are for some people a matter of life and death.  I intend that the committee will be robust, inclusive and forensic and as a result contribute to better outcomes for all. 

Nominated by (own party)

Sir Gerald Kaufman, Jo Cox, Chris Evans, Mr David Winnick, Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck, Mr Chuka Umunna, Clive Efford, Ms Diane Abbott, Conor McGinn, Gareth Thomas, Mary Glindon, Steve McCabe, Tristram Hunt, Jonathan Ashworth, Nick Smith

Nominated by (other parties)

Chris Heaton-Harris, Angus Brendan MacNeil, Sammy Wilson, Nicola Blackwood, Zac Goldsmith

Relevant interests

Barrister – not practising

Statement

I am a genuine and passionate believer in the scrutinising role of Parliament, a role that is predicated on detailed and fair scrutiny of the executive. The Select Committee system is one of the most important and impressive features of our parliamentary democracy, and it is one that we should cherish. It is for this reason that I am seeking re-election as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

In the 28 years that I have been a Member of the House, I have served as a Minister, a Parliamentary Private Secretary and as a member of the Home Affairs, Liaison, National Security Strategy, Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committees.

As Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee in the last Parliament, I always ensured that the views and suggestions of all Members were given careful, proper and equal consideration, and I have been strongly committed to the Committee’s success in carrying out effective and thorough scrutiny to achieve significant and lasting impact. I am immensely appreciative of the cross-party support that I received in this role. I have always felt that Select Committees work best when they achieve consensus, and almost all of the reports published by the Home Affairs Select Committee whilst I have been Chair were agreed unanimously by Members of all parties.

I am deeply proud of the work of the Committee in recent years. Indeed, a number of our recommendations have subsequently been adopted by the Government.

This includes reports on inquiries which recommended:

  • The abolition of the UKBA;
  • Compensation to the taxpayer following the failure of contractors during the Olympics; and
  • The removal of children with mental health issues from police cells.

The Committee also:

  • Produced the first ever Select Committee report into female genital mutilation; and
  • Took up 230 cases of people who contacted the Committee asking for help, particularly during the passport crisis of last summer.

There is much more work to be done in this Parliament to tackle new and existing challenges relating to the work of the Home Office, such as immigration, policing, counter-terrorism and the justice and home affairs agenda of the EU, among other matters.

These may include:

  • The illegal migration crisis;
  • Tackling extremism and strengthening deradicalisation measures; and
  • The growing prevalence of legal highs and abuse of prescription drugs.

I want to continue to work with colleagues to achieve measurable success in this Parliament. In so doing, we will mark out our Select Committees as providing a balanced, credible and effective service to Parliament and ultimately to the British people.