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Lords Committee to hear from constitutional experts on the accountability of civil servants

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will tomorrow hear from a number of constitutional experts, including Peter Riddell and Lord Hennessy, as part of their inquiry into the accountability of Civil Servants.

The Committee will quiz the witnesses on the ways in which civil servants are held accountable. Areas expected to be covered include whether a distinction should be made between ministerial accountability and ministerial responsibility, as was suggested by former Home Secretary Lord Howard of Lympne in his evidence to the Committee. The witnesses are also likely to be asked about proposals from the Government that Ministers should be able to choose from a shortlist of names when filling vacancies for Permanent Secretaries in their departments.

At 10.30am, the Committee will hear from:

  • Andrew Haldenby, Director, Reform;
  • Alexandra Runwick, Unlock Democracy; and
  • Rt Hon Peter Riddell CBE, Institute for Government.

Following on, at 11.15am, the Committee will be hearing from:

  • Professor Lord Henessy of Nympsfield, Atlee Professor of Cotemporary British History, Queen Mary's University London;
  • Professor Colin Talbot, Professor of Government and Public Administration, Manchester Business School; and
  • Dr Andrew Blick, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies, Kings College London.

The evidence session will take place on Wednesday 27 June at 10.30am in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at

The evidence session is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening. 

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