COMMONS

Chair nominations for Science and Technology 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 Science and Technology Committee, the Committee Chair will be a member of the Conservative Party.

Nominated by (own party)

Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, Mr Charles Walker, Mr Andrew Tyrie, Edward Argar, Matt Warman, Dr Sarah Wollaston, Jesse Norman, Kit Malthouse, Mr Keith Simpson, Wendy Morton, Mr Bernard Jenkin, Zac Goldsmith, Mrs Maria Miller, Sir Eric Pickles, Chloe Smith

Nominated by (other parties)

Frank Field, Ms Gisela Stuart, Joan Ryan, Keith Vaz

Nominated by (own party)

Neil Parish, Sir Nicholas Soames, Chris White, Mark Field, Pauline Latham, Tom Tugendhat, Kevin Hollinrake, Stephen Phillips, Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Mrs Flick Drummond, Byron Davies, Conor Burns, Mr David Davis, Caroline Nokes, Craig Whittaker

Nominated by (other parties)

Mark Durkan, Albert Owen, Ian Lavery, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith

Statement

Science and technology are fields in which I believe our nation should lead the world. I want to play my part by providing the vision, dynamism, and rigorous scrutiny that this position demands and deserves.

I offer a strong and long-standing scientific background. My education, training, research and professional practice in science disciplines; my commitment to applying science and technology to further our national interests; and my involvement in promoting innovation and inspiring future generations.

My constituency – Bracknell - is at the forefront of UK science and technology innovation, supporting a vast array of ground-breaking companies in technology, bioenergy, chemicals, energy, pharmaceuticals and other fields.

I firmly believe that, at its best, this Committee will be instrumental in achieving a safe and prosperous future for our country and that our priorities should be to:

  • Support policies and investment which generate ground-breaking, world-leading advances in science, technology and their application: We need to be more creative if we are to become a scientific world power once again, successfully promoting UK interests and maximising the benefits. My 2011 Adjournment debate on microgravity spurred £60m investment into the European Space Agency's ELIPS programme, paving the way for British astronaut, Timothy Peake, to go into space in 2016. I also helped to secure government funding to support the most important British breakthrough in aerospace technology (Reaction Engines’ SABRE) since the 1960s.
  • Promote the application of science and technology to overcome the defining challenges of our generation: Dealing with our ageing population and international demographic pressures; meeting our future energy needs; keeping our population healthy and secure. My five years’ experience on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and two years in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology left me with a profound belief that we can do better.
  • Tackle the moral dimensions of advances in science and technology. Advances in genetics, stem cell research, reproductive biology and biotechnology, as well as data capture and storage amongst others, pose ethical questions which we need to debate.
  • Inspire the next generation of science and technology innovators. As Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, I took responsibility for education, prioritising STEM. I believe there is much more we can do to make use of the power of science and technology - and our nation’s incredible history in these fields - to inspire young people and bring this about.

As the new Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee I would also continue to build on the excellent work of Andrew Miller and his committee members during the last Parliament. I view the cross-departmental perspective of the Science and Technology Committee as providing a unique opportunity to ensure that science and technology continue to inform the Government’s work and are at the heart of every decision it makes. As the Committee enters its second Parliament since its re-establishment, I hope it will continue to grow in profile, strength and reach – I would very much welcome your support to achieve this as its Chair.

Nominated by (own party) 

Richard Fuller, Mark Spencer, Iain Stewart, Chris Heaton-Harris, Jason McCartney, Dr Matthew Offord, Julian Knight, Dr Julian Lewis, Adam Afriyie, Mr Peter Bone, Mrs Anne Main, Tom Pursglove, Nigel Huddleston, Will Quince, Mike Wood

Nominated by (other parties) 

Mr Iain Wright, Barry Gardiner, Grahame Morris, Ian Mearns, Bill Esterson

Statement

I am standing for election as Chairman of the Science and Technology Select Committee and hope you will consider supporting me.

Science and Technology is a huge part of my work in both Parliament and the constituency. I have sponsored a variety of events in Parliament and worked hard with industry leaders to promote more women and apprentices into these fields. Women in Engineering and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) are headquartered in my constituency.

I would like to take the Science and Technology Select Committee into the mainstream and hold Government to account. The Committee has a unique opportunity to work with other committees to investigate the effectiveness of spending. For example, BIS alone will spend £5.8 Billion this year on Science. The Growth deals signed with Local Enterprise Partnerships up and down the country contain vast science and technology spends, which need assessing for their effectiveness. In this new era of devolution, we need to seek to hold Government to account when necessary to ensure that the UK maintains a strong and competitive Science & Technology base and is attractive to innovators, academics and companies.

I believe there are three positive reasons to vote for me:

  1. I was a Board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) in the previous Parliament. This is Parliament's in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology.
  2. I served on the Science and Technology Select Committee in the last Parliament for a period. I want to involve the wider parliamentary community in the selection of topics the committee pursues so it is relevant to all Members of Parliament.
  3. My interest in technology is deep-rooted and dates back to my MSc in Technology Management. Furthermore, thousands of Scientists and Engineers are employed in my constituency, so I truly understand the core issues that the sector faces on a day to day basis. My constituency of Stevenage is home to GSK's largest R&D facility in Europe, Airbus builds 25% of the world’s telecommunication satellites, MBDA build complex weapon systems and Fujitsu have a large presence.

If you elect me as Chairman of the Science and Technology Select Committee, you can be assured of an independent Chairman that will forcibly hold the Government to account. I will work closely with fellow Committee Members to ensure that the endeavours of the Committee are positive and effective for Parliament and to the benefit of all our constituencies.

Nominated by (own party) 

Dr Liam Fox, Karen Lumley, Robert Neill, Rebecca Harris, Graham Stuart, Bob Stewart, Mrs Sheryll Murray, Chris Green, Jeremy Lefroy, Lucy Allan, John Glen, James Heappey, Fiona Bruce, Anne Marie Morris, Bob Blackman

Nominated by (other parties)

Graham Stringer, Carolyn Harris, Hywel Williams, Geraint Davies, Sammy Wilson

Statement

I am seeking your support as Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee as someone who has sat on the committee for the whole of the last parliament and has demonstrated commitment to the role of Science in Parliament.

Over the five years the Committee was always led by the evidence it was presented with and I ask for your support in the same vein.

Science and Engineering play a vital role in our society: not only do they have the potential to solve some of the enormous global challenges we face such as tackling climate change or restarting the antibiotics development pipeline, they also have the ability to create the well paid and fulfilling jobs that I am sure we would all want to see our constituents benefit from.

The reasons I believe I have the experience and commitment to make a good chairman are:

  • I have been a dedicated member of the Committee for the last five years and have represented the committee in an official capacity both nationally and internationally on a number of occasions and was de facto vice chairman.
  • I have the support of the previous Chairman, Andrew Miller and former committee member as well as support from the wider science community.
  • I am currently Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee – the oldest established APPG which celebrated its 75th Birthday last year and acts as an influential advocate for Science in Parliament.
  • I have taken the Conservative lead in sponsoring a number of significant Scientific events in Parliament, most importantly Parliamentary Links Day organised by The Society of Biology.
  • I am a trustee of Newton’s Apple, and regularly make presentations to young scientists helping to bridge the gap between the science community and Parliament.
  • Understand that the benefits of science need to be spread across the whole of the UK and not just confined to the Golden Triangle

I believe that previous Governments have a good record of investment in Science and I want to ensure that this Parliament builds on those records. I will work with the Government to tackle what I believe are the five most important issue, namely:

  • To ensure the Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to science throughout this Parliament;
  • To ensure that the science budget rises to take account of inflation over the last five years;
  • To improve science education at every level, starting at Primary school level;
  • To continue to work to try and bridge the gender gap at all levels, but particularly at the very top level of science;
  • To help “Bridge the Valley of Death” (the gap between the laboratory science bench to the point where it provides the basis of a commercially successful business or product.) to ensure more of our excellent science is commercialised in the UK, not abroad!

I hope you will consider supporting me. If you would like to discuss my candidacy further please contact me on 07810 541121.

Thank you for reading this and hopefully your support!

Nominated by (own party)

Jo Churchill, Sir Paul Beresford, Peter Aldous, James Cartlidge, Mr Julian Brazier, Paul Scully, Mr Philip Hollobone, David Tredinnick, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Richard Graham, Sir David Amess, Mr Robert Syms, Bill Wiggin, Sir Greg Knight, Stephen Hammond

Nominated by (other parties) 

Angus Brendan MacNeil, Jon Cruddas, Ann Clwyd, Norman Lamb, Paul Flynn

Relevant interests declared 

NHS hospital doctor