COMMONS

Electoral reform and role of the Speaker examined ahead of expected elections

17 October 2019

Purpose of the sessions

Electoral Law

In its first session, the Committee will conclude its inquiry examining how urgent a need there is for updating and consolidation of current electoral law ahead of a likely general election, with interim Minister for the Constitution Kevin Foster MP. The Committee is expected to seek the Government’s view on the risks to the electoral process if consolidation is not undertaken, as well as the current prevalence of electoral fraud – a matter raised in the recent Queen’s Speech.

Role of the Speaker

The Committee returns the following day with a special one-off session on the role of the Speaker, ahead of the election to replace John Bercow. The hearing will examine how the office of the Speaker has evolved and developed alongside wider political and constitutional trends. The Committee will also consider how future Speakers will need to adapt and change in order to ensure the House of Commons functions effectively in the future, and what challenges they are likely to face.

The Committee will hear from former officeholders in Lord Lisvane (Clerk of the Commons 2011-14) and Deputy Speaker Natascha Engel (2015-17), as well as policy experts from the History of Parliament Trust, Hansard Society and Institute for Government.

Witnesses

Monday 21 October 2019, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

From 12pm 

  • Kevin Foster MP, Interim Minister for the Constitution

Tuesday 22 October 2019, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster

From 9.45am

  • Lord Lisvane, Clerk of the House of Commons 2011-14
  • Dr Paul Seaward, Director, The History of Parliament Trust

From 10.30am

  • Natascha Engel, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons 2015-17
  • Lord Young, Leader of the House of Commons 2010-12

From 11.30am

  • Dr Ruth Fox, Director and Head of Research, Hansard Society
  • Lord Norton, Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies University of Hull
  • Dr Hannah White, Deputy Director, Institute for Government

Further information

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