Environmental Audit Committee

17 July 2003



After six years at the helm of the influential-all party-Environmental Audit Committee, John Horam MP has decided to step down.  At its meeting yesterday, the Committee unanimously chose Peter Ainsworth MP, Conservative Member for  East Surrey, to succeed Mr Horam.

Mr Horam has chaired the Committee since it was first established in 1997 and will remain a member of the Committee for the time being. 

He said “I am delighted that Peter will be succeeding me as Chairman.  I wish him every success.   Over the last six years the Committee has proved itself a strong driver for change in Government and I am proud of the achievements we have made.  But there is still much work to be done if the Government is to reach the goals it has set itself on sustainable development”.

Mr Ainsworth thanked Mr Horam for all his work, saying that “it is a honour to take over the Chairmanship of such an important select committee and it will be a challenge to continue to work to the standards and pace that John has set.  I would like to pay tribute to the Committee’s achievements under his leadership and to thank him for the invaluable contribution he has made to the cause of sustainable development in Government”.

Peter Ainsworth has been a member of the Environmental Audit Committee since January 2003.  He was first elected to Parliament in 1992 and served in the Government Whips Office during the 1992-97 Parliament.  He was Opposition Deputy Chief  Whip from 1997-98 and subsequently Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1998-2001) and for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2001-02.  He has a long standing interest in environmental protection and sustainable development, having served on the Environment Select Committee in the mid 1990s.  In 1994, he was named Campaigning MP of the year by Green Magazine.