COMMONS

Chair nominations for Women and Equalities Committee

Nominations close for Chair elections.

One nomination was received for the position of Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee.

As the only candidate for the position, Mrs Maria Miller 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 4 July until 3pm on Friday 7 July, 2017. 

Nominated by (own party)

Nicky Morgan, Dame Caroline Spelman, Mr Charles Walker, Gillian Keegan, Mrs Anne Main, Paul Scully, Mr Peter Bone, Lucy Allan, Stephen Crabb, Bill Wiggin, Rehman Chishti, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, Mr Shailesh Vara, Esther McVey, Mr Ranil Jayawardena

Nominated by (other parties)

Yvette Cooper, Jess Phillips, Kate Green, Mr Gavin Shuker, Meg Hillier

Statement

I had the honour of being elected to be the first Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee when it was established in 2015. I am standing for re-election to ensure this committee continues to provide robust and detailed scrutiny of Government equality policy as the country continues to face economic pressures as well as leaving the European Union. A belief in equality should be at the heart of our nations values. 

Parliament, through the select committee system, has a central role to play in safeguarding the principles and practice of the Equality Act and to provide challenge to Government to protect and improve equality in all of our laws. 

Over the past two years I have made it my priority to build a strong reputation for this newest select committee amongst Parliamentarians and other stakeholders. Our groundbreaking first report focussed on the discrimination faced by transgender people and firmly put this issue on the Government’s agenda. The work rate of the Committee has been high and from a standing start we produced a total of 17 reports in the 24 months before the General Election was called. We have covered issues as diverse as maternity rights and the impact of the built environment on disabled people. It is important that the Committee covers the broad remit of the Equality Act in its future work. 

I believe we get the best from select committees by working collaboratively with other stakeholder organisations. An example is the Inquiry we held on ‘Sexual Harassment in Schools’ where we partnered with Girl Guiding. The organisation strengthened the impact of the report with representatives sharing their lived experience, adding depth and urgency to our recommendations to Ministers. One of the recommendations from that Inquiry was to make Sex and Relationship education compulsory for all school age children, something I am pleased that we achieved through the Children and Social Work Act 2017. 

My previous roles as Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Minister for Women and Equalities and Minister for Disabled People under the Coalition Government has given me extensive experience in many different aspects of the Equality Act, the workings of Parliament and Government. If successfully re-elected as Select Committee Chair I am keen to revisit one of the important pieces of legislation for which I was responsible, the equal Marriage Act. I believe post legislative scrutiny is also valuable work that Select Committees should prioritise. 

Relevant interests

None

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