COMMONS

Chair nominations for Treasury Committee

Nominations close for Chair elections.

Six nominations have been received for the position of Chair of the Treasury Committee. The Chair will be elected from the Conservative party.

A full list of candidates is published below with accompanying statements.

As set out by the Speaker, the election will be held in Committee Room 8 from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 12 July. The results are expected to be announced by the Speaker, the Rt Hon John Bercow, as soon as possible after the ballots close.

The candidates are:

 

Nominated by (own party)

Mr Dominic Grieve, Mr David Jones, John Howell, Mr Jonathan Djanogly, Mr Peter Bone, Leo Docherty, Bill Wiggin, Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan, David Morris, David Tredinnick, James Cleverly, Mr John Baron, Mr Charles Walker, Sir Edward Leigh, Amanda Milling

Nominated by (other parties)

John Healey, Jim Shannon, Stewart Hosie, Caroline Flint, Meg Hillier

Statement

After 16 years serving on the Public Accounts Committee, the last seven years as deputy chairman, I believe I have the right skills and experience to lead a good cross-party Treasury Select Committee.

As a member of the PAC since 2001, I have participated in producing over 800 reports covering all areas of government income and expenditure, with an award-winning track record of working as a committee member under Labour, Coalition and Conservative governments while not being afraid to ask difficult questions. My academic background at the London School of Economics and my previous professional experience in investment banking, journalism and consultancy would also help.

I would adopt a broad interpretation of the Committee’s remit; in the last Session of Parliament nine out of the 13 Treasury Committee reports were on appointments to the Bank of England and other regulators. While such work is important, it should not distort the Committee’s activity. I would re-establish the Treasury Select Committee’s Treasury Sub-Committee, under the chairmanship of a committee member from the Official Opposition; this arrangement previously worked very well, only ceasing recently.

I would adopt a collegiate approach, taking account of the interests of all committee members, a way of working which I have helped to develop and implement – and have seen work well – on the Public Accounts Committee. I would expect that all members from all political parties would exercise influence in shaping the work programme of the committee, particularly where members had areas of special interest. As an experienced committee hand, not a former government minister, I am well-placed to achieve this.

Apart from examining HM Treasury, HMRC, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, my own ideas for possible inquiries would include:

Public finances

Reviewing a broad range of tax policy including: the impact of infrastructure investment on economic growth and tax receipts; tax simplification; tax modernisation; fairness in the tax system; taxation of e-commerce; the relationship between taxation of capital gains and levels of business investment; the relationship between taxation of savings and long-term retirement planning; taxation of long-term unoccupied residential property; development of the UK balance sheet; recognition of off-balance sheet liabilities and assets; PFI review; the management of the balance sheet; the measurement of GDP; should we measure happiness?; how do we measure the contribution of carers?

Enabling strong, sustainable and balanced growth

Economic and financial consequences of Brexit; the outlook for interest rates; reviewing the collection, accuracy and use of data – and the benefits and risks of commercialisation of data; use of data in economic forecasting and in investment; Big Data; machine learning; artificial intelligence; e-currencies: should we have an e-sterling? Infrastructure investment: Should we have a UK sovereign wealth fund?; availability of consumer credit; regulation, helping people who get into too much debt; loan sharks.

Increasing employment and productivity across all regions of the UK

Devolution of more tax authority; women and minorities in finance, and in HM Treasury;  HM Treasury’s approach to planning and its influence in facilitating infrastructure spending.

Relevant interests

None

Nominated by (own party)

Mike Penning, Michelle Donelan, Jack Brereton, Mrs Sheryll Murray, Robert Jenrick, Ms Nadine Dorries, Stephen Kerr, Dr Caroline Johnson, Glyn Davies, Mrs Kemi Badenoch, Andrew Selous, Trudy Harrison, Bim Afolami, Gillian Keegan, Dr Julian Lewis 

Nominated by (other parties)

Julie Elliott, Gavin Newlands, Preet Gill, Chris Williamson, Sarah Champion 

Statement

Select Committees work best when Chairs are collegiate and all members work together as a team. That’s why I would seek to build a committee where individual members lead inquiries in a ‘rapporteur’ system to enable a concentration of expertise. I would seek to represent and communicate the overall view of the committee, as well as working cross-party. 

We need an economy that works for our country and its people – not big business and establishment institutions. And an economy that’s both fair and resilient. 

Key inquires would include how we can help our young people access finance to get on the housing ladder. How we can move investment from property to enterprise and infrastructure to drive productivity and enable the nation to enjoy a pay rise. And how we can keep inflation in check and the cost of living down.

We need a fair economy. It makes people rightly angry when large businesses pay less in tax than the person cleaning their offices. Inquiries would include how we can make tax laws fairer and stronger to put a stop to avoidance by big corporations and throw the book at people who game the system. How we can improve access to finance, including through credit unions and making sure bank branches remain accessible. And how we can take more of the lowest paid out of tax while minimising tax cliff edges.

We need more diversity than depending on big cities and financial services for growth. Inquiries would centre on how to deliver a renaissance of the regions through more investment, to boost productivity and increase resilience. The committee should also see how well the Treasury and HMRC are preparing for Brexit.

I am passionate about fairness and have long campaigned against tax dodging by big multinationals. I have written extensively on the injustices of zero hours contracts and payday lending along with the unfairness of buy to letting on our young people.

I have previously served on the Public Accounts Committee, leading on inquiries into HMRC and tax avoidance, as well as the Public Administration Select Committee. I served as a Government Whip and as PPS to the Work & Pensions Secretary. This taught me the importance of listening to colleagues as well as how Government works. 

Before I was elected I worked as a tax lawyer. I started my political life serving some of the poorest and most vulnerable in our country as a councillor in Lambeth. As MP for Dover & Deal my constituents are on the frontline of Brexit. I am an independent thinker with a passionate belief in social justice, along with experience of Government, tax and finance. This is the experience I would use to take the Treasury Select Committee in a fresh direction – one that I hope you will support and vote for as being necessary to build the kind of Britain we need. 

Relevant interests

None

Nominated by (own party)

Tim Loughton, Robert Neill, Antoinette Sandbach, Mr Shailesh Vara, Kelly Tolhurst, Paul Scully, Iain Stewart, Mrs Maria Miller, Mike Wood, Nick Herbert, Grant Shapps, Adam Holloway, Mr Geoffrey Cox, Theresa Villiers, Julia Dockerill

Nominated by (other parties)



Statement

The Treasury Select Committee has been, and must remain, Parliament’s and the people’s spotlight on the UK economy and economic issues.
Not only has the Committee regularly scrutinised the policy of the Bank of England and the Government, but in the last Parliament produced the recognised independent report on Brexit, as well as influential reports on access to personal banking and UK regulation.

I believe the new Committee must continue these traditions of fearless scrutiny, and the Chairman must lead this process. I believe I am the right person to do this, building on my record as a member of the Committee in the last Parliament, praised by City A.M for not being “afraid to question the claims on both sides of the debate”.

For twenty years prior to being elected in 2005 my career was in Financial Services and I qualified both as an economist and an analyst. This insight will allow me to dissect evidence presented and question Ministers and others effectively. These skills will be paramount on the new Committee which will not just undertake its usual role scrutinising economic policy, but must also examine the economic aspects of Brexit.

The Committee has a tradition of fearless independence which must be maintained. However, I believe the Committee must be open to new ideas to ensure its continuing relevance to Members, the public and to the economic debate. I am keen to ensure the Committee considers undertaking inquiries of interest submitted by any Member of the House, and I have already received suggestions for work on the barriers to competition in personal banking and the economic geography of infrastructure.

Besides being Chairman of the APGPG for Wholesale Financial Markets, I also chaired the APPG for Infrastructure in the last Parliament. One major inquiry for the Committee in this Parliament I would like to see is on the Government’s infrastructure policy; how it helps UK business, how it builds the skills of the nation and how the state of our infrastructure affects economic growth. I believe having also been a Transport Minister gives me a unique insight.

So as the candidate with practical industry experience, with a record as a Committee member and effective scrutineer, with the ability to chair proceedings and to modernise the Committee while protecting what it does best, with a deep passion and interest in economic matters, I put myself forward to be the next Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee. 

Relevant interests

None

Nominated by (own party)

Nigel Huddleston, Jeremy Lefroy, Alberto Costa, Julian Sturdy, Mr Gary Streeter, Anna Soubry, Nick Boles, Mr Andrew Mitchell, Mark Pawsey, Mr Kenneth Clarke, Vicky Ford, Michael Gove, Alistair Burt, Mrs Helen Grant, Claire Perry 

Nominated by (other parties)

Wes Streeting, Stephen Doughty, Paul Blomfield, Jo Swinson, Stephen Gethins

Statement

I am standing to succeed the indefatigable Rt Hon Andrew Tyrie as Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee.  If elected I would be the first female Chair of the Committee which would be a great honour.  It is always good for the House of Commons to break new ground, even if it does take until 2017 to do it!

As the UK establishes its new position outside the EU, it will be more important than ever to forge a wide consensus on Brexit and for Parliament to question Ministers on their decisions. The Treasury Select Committee has an important role in this process. Since June 2016 I believe I have shown I am a strong advocate for Parliament being heavily involved in scrutinising the decisions being made about the terms of Brexit and would continue to champion this approach.

I also have the relevant and necessary experience to chair this committee. Before becoming an MP, I worked as a solicitor in the City of London for 16 years specialising in mergers and acquisitions and advising on the implementation of financial services and company legislation.

My Ministerial roles have given me an insight into how the Treasury functions from the inside and outside. I have been a Treasury Minister, having served as both Economic Secretary and Financial Secretary in 2013 and 2014.  This gave me experience of working on an Autumn Statement and a Budget as well as being EU Budget Minister and attending meetings of EU Finance Ministers.

As the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, I worked with the Treasury on the 2015 Spending Review.  Finally, I have experience serving on a select committee as I served briefly on the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee in 2010, before being appointed a PPS and then a Whip.

I know, from my time working in the Treasury, that its remit and that of the other relevant bodies such as the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority and HMRC is broad. Therefore, as well as inquiries into Brexit, I would be keen to hold inquiries into issues that are of most relevance to our constituents such as: tax policy, public spending decisions, household debt, skills funding, the National Infrastructure Plan, childcare funding and income inequality as well as quizzing Ministers on economic policy and critical issues such as productivity. I am also keen to pursue topics such as the lack of gender diversity in financial services.

I would also like to re-open some of the inquiries which closed because of the election, including on housing policy and access to basic retail financial services. There will always be a wide variety of views amongst committee members and it is important the Chairman listens to those views.

Agreeing on inquiries should be a collaborative process and I would expect the Committee to have a Deputy Chair from the Opposition and to consider the appointment of sub-committees when this would support the work of the Committee.

Nominated by (own party)

Sir Oliver Letwin, Mr Robert Syms, Suella Fernandes, James Cartlidge, Richard Graham, Dr Sarah Wollaston, Mr Mark Prisk, Gareth Johnson, George Freeman, Richard Benyon, Zac Goldsmith, Sir Paul Beresford, Victoria Prentis, Adam Afriyie, Luke Hall

Nominated by (other parties)

Jonathan Reynolds, Stephen Kinnock, Tom Brake

Statement

My background before politics means I’ve got broad experience of big and small businesses, as well as financial markets. I worked as a risk manager for JPMorgan, before an MBA at Columbia University in New York, followed by spells at McKinsey and Pearson (as MD of Longman’s school books publishing division), a management buy-out in educational software (particularly for special needs pupils) and a startup in financial data.  

I believe Select Committees are strongest when they’re united, so a successful Chair needs to be non-tribal, and capable of finding or forging cross-party consensus wherever possible. In the last Parliament I founded and co-chaired the All Party Group for Best Brexit, aimed at building consensus between former Remainers (like myself) and Leavers in the wake of the referendum result. And I’ve worked successfully alongside fellow campaigners in Labour and the SNP for an energy price cap, which featured in all three Party manifestos.  

I also believe that Select Committees should be effective and fearless inquisitors of power. As a former Minister in Cabinet Office, I know how Government works and – equally importantly – when it doesn’t. A strong Chair needs to know the questions which Ministers, businesses and bureaucrats will fear the most, so they can uncover the truth wherever it lies, and whatever it may be. 

This next Parliament will see fundamental changes in our national economic debate. The old questions of how taxes and economic policies should deliver social justice are changing; the new divide isn’t between white or blue collar workers, but between asset-owning older people and the insecure, struggling generation behind them instead. I’ve published ideas for a UK Sovereign Wealth Fund to begin addressing these issues of generational fairness, and found surprising cross-party agreement for many parts of it. In a hung Parliament, I believe the Treasury Select Committee should help lead this new and changing debate about the kind of post-Brexit economy we want to have, and the sort of society we want to be. 

Relevant interests

My wife is a non-executive Director of the Court of the Bank of England – she would take any necessary steps to comply with the Bank's Code of Conduct if I was fortunate enough to be elected as Chair of the Treasury Committee.

Nominated by (own party)

Nigel Mills, Mr John Whittingdale, Sir Hugo Swire, Nadhim Zahawi, Mr William Wragg, Andrew Percy, Esther McVey, Daniel Kawczynski, Philip Davies, Mr Christopher Chope, Michael Tomlinson, Kit Malthouse, Lucy Allan, Simon Hoare, Mims Davies

Nominated by (other parties)

Gavin Robinson, Lilian Greenwood, Yasmin Qureshi, Carolyn Harris, Mhairi Black

Statement

As Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee I would want to see it continue its full range of work it has shown itself so able to master, including regular reviews of decisions by the Treasury and the Bank of England in addition to specific enquiries. One example of an area that requires further work is the relationship between banks and consumers.  This remains unbalanced and issues of fairness around overdraft fees have still not been settled. Behaviour during the financial crisis also opens up areas of enquiry especially after the HBOS fraud and the charges against Barclays. This leads on to the role of regulators and their focus, are they putting consumers and competition as a high enough priority? We need to do so much more to get the right answers for those we represent.

Inevitably, there will be elements of Brexit that will need investigation, economic questions as well as regulatory ones. In this area although I have strong views a Chairman has a duty to put those aside and achieve consensus and balance.  Those of you with whom I have had the privilege to work know that, above all, I value the proper conduct of Parliament so would not seek to make the Treasury Select Committee a megaphone for my own personal position but rather a platform for debate and for answers that drew from the range of views and experience of the members. To do anything else would weaken the influence of the Committee and damage Parliament.

Finally, I have considerable experience in this field. I have worked in financial services both in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong where I set up my own investment management business in 2007. I know how it works, and how it should work.  I will be tireless in ensuring that the Committee will remain a place for open debate, where we challenge orthodoxies and champion Parliament and the people we represent.

Relevant interests

Chairman and Founding Partner of Somerset Capital Management

Trustee of Mitsubishi UFJ Oxford Union Charitable trust. Further details are included in the Register of Members' Interests.

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