COMMONS

Chair nominations for International Development 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 International Development Committee, the Committee Chair will be a member of the Labour Party.

Nominated by (own party)

Kate Green, Jess Phillips, Ms Gisela Stuart, Mr Barry Sheerman, Richard Burgon, Paul Blomfield, Richard Burden, Jonathan Ashworth, Kelvin Hopkins, Mr David Anderson, Judith Cummins, Paula Sherriff, Paul Flynn, Dawn Butler, Mr Dennis Skinner

Nominated by (other parties)

Angus Brendan MacNeil, Pauline Latham, Fiona Bruce, Gareth Johnson, Jeremy Lefroy

Statement

Why you should vote for me as Chair of the IDC:

  • I served on the Committee in the last Parliament
  • Before joining the IDC I served on the Foreign Affairs Committee for ten years
  • I have always been a Backbench MP
  • I strongly believe in the power of Development Aid to reduce poverty
  • I will ensure that the IDC is as open, inclusive and accessible as possible
  • Value is essential in the spending of all taxpayers’ money, including Development Aid
  • I will make sure that ICAI,  (I chaired its scrutiny committee in the last Parliament), is beefed up and working effectively
  • Tackling climate change must be taken seriously by DfID

The next five years will be crucial for the role of our Department for International Development (DfID). Now that 0.7% of GDP is enshrined in statute, we have one of the few Departments of State which has an increasing budget and can materially improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world.

What is really important, however, is that we ensure the best possible use of our money in the quest for poverty reduction worldwide.  That’s why I believe the Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) has to play a really key role in examining carefully how British taxpayers’ contributions are used in the programmes implemented by DfID.

In this election for the Chair of the International Development Committee we need someone who has a grasp of the major issues for development over the next five years. That’s why I am standing and why I ask for your vote.

I am the only candidate who served on the IDC in the last Parliament and therefore I believe I have a good grasp of the challenges facing us.

The last IDC report published before the Dissolution on 30 March, was entitled ‘Beyond Aid’ and examined where we go from here and what we can do to ensure that we meet the Sustainable Development Goals to be discussed in New York in September.  If elected as Chair I hope to be able to attend that summit at the UN which will attempt to define a new framework for global development.

Britain has a good reputation across the world for its development expertise and one priority of the IDC in this Parliament will be to ensure that reputation continues and improves.  In order to do that we need to expand the role of the select committee, to take evidence from a wider range of witnesses and organisations, and not just those who work in the sometimes rarified world of development expertise.

If elected as Chair of the IDC, I will ensure that the committee opens up to as many people who have an interest in Development and Aid as possible.  That means engagement with everyone who feels they want to have a say in where our money goes and how it is used as well as full use of social media to get our message across to the wider public.

Nominated by (own party)

Valerie Vaz, Mary Glindon, Helen Jones, Ian Mearns, Mr Adrian Bailey, Mr Kevan Jones, Sue Hayman, Huw Irranca-Davies, Nic Dakin, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Gerald Jones, Jo Stevens, Mr Iain Wright, Conor McGinn, Jeremy Corbyn

Nominated by (other parties)

Mike Weir, Mr David Jones, Mr Mark Williams, Mark Durkan, Hywel Williams

Statement

Background

On leaving school I joined the Merchant Navy and travelled the globe. I saw at first hand the challenges in some of the world’s poorest countries. This shaped my life and my politics. I returned to full-time education studying politics including international relations.

I have a good working relationship with local and national charities and can work with a wide cross-section of groups in a consensual manner. This is something I have maintained since being elected to Parliament.

Experience

Since my election to the House in 2001, I have been an active backbencher by choice. To me, becoming the chair of a select committee is progression to an increasingly important position within Parliament.

From day one I have been a pro-active member of various select committees and as a member of the Speaker’s Panel of Chairs. I have experience of chairing debates in the House, Bill Committees and Statutory Instruments. I have done so in the true spirit of the House - in a fair, friendly, impartial and constructive manner. In addition, I have chaired All-Party Parliamentary Groups working with MPs across parties and from across sections of our society.

International Development

I am proud that the UK has a dedicated international development department of state and it is vital that the remit of the select committee is to hold DfID to account.

However, while paying tribute to previous committee members and Chairs, I believe the profile and status of the Committee needs to rise to make it more relevant both in Parliament and beyond. To achieve this, I would:

  • Work with other Select Committee Chairs including Foreign Affairs and Defence on related issues
  • Liaise with All-Party Parliamentary Groups on specific issues and invite them to give evidence to inquiries
  • Broaden the list of witnesses to include UN Special Envoys, volunteers and local groups as well as established NGOs
  • Work with devolved administrations to enhance their work and that of select committees
  • Set up short inquiries and use the talents of committee members by establishing sub-committees
  • Conduct inquires on controversial countries such as Burma, Yemen etc.

Above, I have highlighted the reasons why I want to be the Chair of the International Development Select Committee. I believe select committees can further develop and help establish trust and a better working relationship between Parliament and the public.

I believe I have the skills, the energy and the right approach to work with others to make this happen and I ask for your support.

Nominated by (own party) 

Kerry McCarthy, Mr Jamie Reed, Ms Karen Buck, Teresa Pearce, Emily Thornberry, Mr David Lammy, Pat Glass, Rushanara Ali, Ms Diane Abbott, Mr Khalid Mahmood, Naz Shah, John McDonnell, Sadiq Khan, Alex Cunningham, Mr David Crausby

Nominated by (other parties)

Neil Carmichael, Richard Harrington, Daniel Kawczynski, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Andrew Turner

Statement

As Chair of the DIFD Select Committee, I will fairly scrutinise the department to ensure that efficiencies are central to its aims, without compromising long term strategic goals and objectives.  The priority must be to build a multilateralist approach to development, one which not only lifts people from poverty but fundamentally redistributes power and address structural injustices.

International development is of course, about shaping and delivering aid to help the poorest overseas. But in addition a focus must be on peace-making and peace-keeping in conflict-affected countries; brokering global deals on finance, trade or climate change; and building new partnerships with emerging economies. 

There is much work to be done, to better orientate our international development policies towards the poorest and most conflict-affected people in the world, to create decent work opportunities for all, to ensure that women are not left behind, to protect our climate too. But in a world where it will take so much more than aid to achieve these goals, improved policy coherence across Government and with our partners globally, I would strongly encourage as Chair.

This must begin with greater scrutiny of DfID’s budget, where the focus must be on funding the world's poorest areas, where money goes furthest and reaches those people most in need. Excessive spending on external consultants and wastage must be better scrutinised to ensure that taxpayers recognise that their money is being well spent. 

Background and Experience.

Before becoming a Member of Parliament I was a practicing Barrister with extensive experience in working to improve conditions in other countries, including a secondment to the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, where I was the co-ordinator of the Criminal Legal Unit.

In my role as Head of the Criminal Legal Unit and Director of Judicial Administration I set up Kosovo's Ministry of Justice and I focused on analysing the legal system within Kosovo to identify shortcomings within laws and, in particular, to address problems such as the trafficking of persons, domestic violence

Since becoming an MP in 2010, I have served as a member of the Justice Select Committee, the Home Affairs Select Committee and the HS2 Hybrid Bill Committee. I have a breadth of experience in scrutinising both complex and high profile Government departments.

Within Parliament, I have raised issues on human rights and development concerns in Burma, Kashmir, Palestine, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain and Afghanistan, to mention a few

It would be a privilege to chair the Committee. Many of you will know, that I am fair and independent minded, personable, while not afraid to ask searching questions. Above all, I will do my upmost to work with colleagues across the House.

Biography: Yasmin Quereshi

Nominated by (own party)

Gareth Thomas, Wes Streeting, Margaret Greenwood, Seema Malhotra, Peter Kyle, Mr George Howarth, Stephen Pound, Steve Rotheram, Liz McInnes, Paul Farrelly, Carolyn Harris, Tom Watson, Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Alan Johnson, Tulip Siddiq

Nominated by (other parties)

Nicola Blackwood, Mr Andrew Mitchell, Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chris White, Lady Hermon

Relevant interests declared

Former Director, the Foreign Policy Centre (2005-2010)
Work for the Aegis Trust / Holocaust Centre genocide prevention charities including in Rwanda (2005 – 2010)

Statement

I was first elected to the House in 1997, representing Enfield Southgate for eight years. I lost my seat at the 2005 General Election but returned in 2010 representing Liverpool West Derby. I am, therefore, what is fondly described as a "retread"!

Chairing a Select Committee requires the ability to work well on a cross-party basis. My track record demonstrates that I can work with colleagues from all parties. I am proud that my party created the Department for International Development and I am delighted that there is now a cross-party consensus about the importance of development. I work well as part of a team and I would seek to draw upon the talents and experience of all members of the Committee.

International Development is an important concern across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I will work with colleagues in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast to ensure that the Committee’s work reflects this.

After I lost in 2005 I spent the next five years working for two organisations that have given me extensive experience in this area – the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) think tank and the Aegis Trust charity. During my period as Director of the FPC, international development was a high priority. My work with the Aegis Trust took me to Rwanda where Aegis helped establish the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

This year is an important one for international development, with a summit next month in Addis Ababa on financing for development, a summit in New York on the post-2015 sustainable development goals in September and the Paris climate change conference in December - significant opportunities for the UK to play a leading and constructive role.
International development is not just about aid. That is why the Addis Ababa summit is so important, ensuring the sources of finance available to grow businesses in the least developed countries are expanded. Key priorities include infrastructure, public services and trade.

Value for money, transparency and accountability remain crucial. Taxpayers’ money must be deployed not only where there is need but also where it can be shown to be succeeding. The Select Committee’s role is to hold the Government to account. My experience both in Government and in Opposition should equip me well for this challenge.  The work of DFID is crucial but its impact will be maximised if development is placed at the heart of Government—across all Departments.

Parliament itself has an important role to play here – for example via the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Our strong and long-term links with Commonwealth countries are a real advantage in maximising the impact of our development policies.

I believe I have the experience, skills and temperament to do a good job. I am grateful to everyone who has offered their support. I hope colleagues from all parties will vote for me.