Constitutional Affairs Committee

Press notice No. 19 of Session 2006-07, 29 March 2007

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

New Ministry of Justice

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister relating to the changes in machinery of Government affecting the Home Office and the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the creation of a new Ministry of Justice, Rt Hon Alan Beith MP, Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, said:

"Personally I welcome the creation of a Ministry of Justice and hope that there will be a real improvement in the way in which services like prisons and probation are run, because they can get higher priority in a Ministry of Justice.

However, as long as the Minister in charge of the department is a member of the House of Lords, which is in itself controversial, the Constitutional Affairs Committee will be the only means by which the House of Commons can question the Secretary of State for these major areas of public policy."

The Committee will want more clarity about the details of the changes before they come into effect on the 9th of May. It will take evidence from the Lord Chancellor on the 17th April".

Notes:

1. Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges Palmer 020 7219 0724 email: [email protected]

2. For more information about the Committee, inquiries or publications, please see the Committee's website: www.parliament.uk/conaffcom/

3. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon Alan Beith MP (Chairman), David Howarth MP, Siân James MP, Mr Piara S Khabra MP, Jessica Morden MP, Julie Morgan MP, Robert Neill MP, Mr Andrew Tyrie MP, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Jeremy Wright MP