Press Notice 31, Session 2005-06

27 March 2006

INQUIRY INTO THE SCRUTINY OF POLITICAL HONOURS

At a private meeting today, the Public Administration Select Committee discussed the possible effect of public hearings into political honours on current police investigations. Members affirmed the right of Parliament to hold hearings on this matter. However, to avoid any risk of prejudicing future court proceedings, the Committee decided not to hold tomorrow’s evidence session.

The Committee said:

This inquiry is not being discontinued. We have decided, after hearing representations from the police and advice from Speaker’s Counsel, to postpone the session scheduled for tomorrow. At this stage, the police were unable to confirm the duration or scope of their inquiry. We have told them that we will return to this in a matter of weeks.

The Committee’s Third Special Report, published tonight, gives more details.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005.  Its terms of reference are to examine the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments, and other matters relating to the Civil Service. The Membership of the Committee is as follows: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), Julia Goldsworthy (Lib Dem) (Falmouth & Camborne), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Grant Shapps (Con) (Welwyn Hatfield), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0724/07917 488 447, email - [email protected]

Chairman: Dr Tony Wright may be contacted for press inquiries on 020 7219 5583

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

House of Commons Committee Information Line: Tel 020 7219 2033 for information regarding forthcoming meetings including venues and times (updated daily).

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 702 3474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk