COMMONS

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

Nominated by (own party) 

Stephen Pound, Diana Johnson, Gordon Marsden, Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck, Robert Flello, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Andrew Gwynne, John Spellar, Kate Green, Paul Flynn, Liz McInnes, Mary Glindon, Albert Owen, Meg Hillier, Ian Mearns

Nominated by (other parties)

Graham Stuart, Robert Neill, Mark Durkan, Ms Margaret Ritchie, Mr Charles Walker

Nominated by (own party) 

Margaret Hodge, Keir Starmer, Pat Glass, John Mann, Chris Leslie, Mr Gavin Shuker, Stella Creasy, Anna Turley, Chris Evans, Yasmin Qureshi, Jessica Morden, Mr David Anderson, Gloria De Piero, Wayne David, Owen Smith 

Nominated by (other parties)

Christopher Pincher, Mr Richard Bacon, Jim Shannon, Chris Heaton-Harris, Richard Fuller

Statement

This new Petitions Select Committee is important. It’s about our Parliament, democracy, listening and responding better to the people who elect us.
Parliament appears distant. Too often people sign petitions online or on our high streets, but then nothing seems to happen.  The Petitions Committee will decide, one at a time, the best way for Parliament to handle each petition.  The Chair of the Petitions Committee will need to explain the Committee’s decisions and help make sense of the workings of the House of Commons for the petitioning public.

As we all know our constituents invest time and energy into building petitions. In return the Petitions Committee could recommend a Commons debate, consideration by a select committee or request further information from Government. The committee needs to explain properly how each petition is dealt with, so our constituents know their views are not ignored.

For the last 5 years I have served on the Public Accounts Committee. We have worked as a team, using evidence to challenge Government and make the work of our select committee relevant to the world outside Westminster. 

I understand how mystifying parliamentary procedure is to the uninitiated. Before coming to Parliament I was a Campaign Manager at the NSPCC, encouraging supporters to contact MPs on child protection issues.  The desire of petitioners for instant results is at odds with the more ponderous processes of our Parliament.  As Chair of the Petitions Committee my job would be to help bridge that gap.

I’ll try to build a team, be a good listener and always respect the views of colleagues on the committee and beyond.  I will work across Parliament with other committees and colleagues from all parties.

I grew up in my constituency in South Wales, not knowing much about how Parliament works or how to get things done.  I have picked some of it up over the years and encouraged signatures on countless petitions - sometimes with an impact, sometimes not.   The Petitions Committee is an opportunity to both better involve our constituents in Parliament’s work and support local change through its many avenues.

Signing a petition and nothing happening can reinforce disappointment in politics and Parliament.  The Petitions Committee is an opportunity to explain decision making and how Parliament works to a wider audience, so we can rebuild some of the lost trust in our democratic process.