COMMONS

Chair nominations for Justice Committee

Nominations close for Chair elections.

One nomination was received for the position of Chair of the Justice Committee.

As the only candidate for the position, Robert Neill will be declared to be elected unopposed when the Speaker announces the result of the Chair elections after the ballot held on Wednesday 12 July.

The elected MP takes up their position as Chair of the Committee when the remaining members of the committee have been appointed by the House.

The period of nomination ran from 4th July until 3pm on Friday 7 July, 2017. 

Nominated by (own party)

Mr Dominic Grieve, Alex Chalk, Damian Collins, Stephen Hammond, Dr Matthew Offord, Chris Philp, Royston Smith, Mr David Jones, Mr Alister Jack, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Mr Nigel Evans, Sir Henry Bellingham, Mr Laurence Robertson, Johnny Mercer, Robert Courts

Nominated by (other parties)

Nick Thomas-Symonds, Karl Turner, Mr Alistair Carmichael, Clive Efford, David Hanson

Statement

It was a great honour to Chair the Justice Select Committee for the two years of the last Parliament, and I seek your support to continue that work.

I have worked hard with colleagues to ensure that the Committee produces timely, relevant and evidence based research. In the last two years we have published over 20 reports on topics as diverse as restorative justice, the role of the magistracy and the treatment of young adults in the criminal justice system, prison safety, as well as more recently on the implications of Brexit for the justice system. All of those have been well received in the House and beyond, and have made a real impact upon policy. We have achieved a series of considerable wins - not least the changes the Government made following our recommendations on the criminal courts charge.

Chairing the Committee demands commitment and a genuinely ‘non-tribal’ approach, and if re-elected, I will work to deliver robust and independent scrutiny, fully involving all Committee members and firmly based upon evidence, aiming to be both critical where necessary but also constructive. I hope during my time in Parliament I have gained a reputation for being open, fair-minded and collegiate, something I believe is reflected in the nominations I have received from across the House, as well as from members of the last Parliament’s Committee.

I believe that my experience in the Chair, plus my previous experience in Government, equips me to achieve the maximum impact for the Committee’s work and to engage positively with stakeholders outside Parliament. Having had a full-time career for over 25 years as a barrister before becoming an MP, specialising in criminal work at every level, both prosecuting and defending, this is a policy area I know intricately and care about deeply. It is one that will face many challenges over the coming years, raising questions about the pressures on our prison system; the impact of Brexit on legal services; courts reforms and access to justice.

As Chair, I would be determined to steer the Committee in a direction that continues to hold decision-makers to account, scrutinises and influences government policy, and encourages informed public debate. That requires a genuinely cross-party, non-grandstanding approach, as well as proper engagement with those at the coal face. That is my commitment if re-elected.

Relevant interests

Non-practising barrister

Consultant to Weightmans Solicitors

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