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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Debated on Thursday 7 July 2016

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chair: Mr Peter Bone

† Barwell, Gavin (Comptroller of Her Majesty's Household)

† Campbell, Mr Alan (Tynemouth) (Lab)

† Caulfield, Maria (Lewes) (Con)

Clwyd, Ann (Cynon Valley) (Lab)

† Coffey, Dr Thérèse (Deputy Leader of the House of Commons)

† Flynn, Paul (Newport West) (Lab)

† Foster, Kevin (Torbay) (Con)

† Gibson, Patricia (North Ayrshire and Arran) (SNP)

† Grant, Mrs Helen (Maidstone and The Weald) (Con)

Kendall, Liz (Leicester West) (Lab)

† Lilley, Mr Peter (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con)

McKinnell, Catherine (Newcastle upon Tyne North) (Lab)

Mills, Nigel (Amber Valley) (Con)

† Smith, Royston (Southampton, Itchen) (Con)

† Stuart, Graham (Beverley and Holderness) (Con)

Umunna, Mr Chuka (Streatham) (Lab)

† Wheeler, Heather (South Derbyshire) (Con)

Ben Williams, Committee Clerk

† attended the Committee

Seventh Delegated Legislation Committee

Thursday 7 July 2016

[Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the motion, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will appoint Jenny Willott to the office of ordinary member of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority with effect from 7 August 2016 for the period ending 31 December 2020.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bone. I welcome the hon. Member for Newport West to the Front Bench. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has already welcomed him, but this is the first time I have served in Committee with him.

The motion proposes that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that she will appoint Jenny Willott to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority from 7 August 2016 until 31 December 2020.

The appointment has arisen as a result of the decision by the current parliamentary member, Lord Thurso, to step down from the board of IPSA following his election to the House of Lords as a hereditary peer. He submitted his resignation on 8 May and it will take effect from 7 August.

Members of IPSA are appointed under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. Under the Act, the Speaker is responsible for overseeing the selection of candidates for appointment to IPSA, and the names of any candidates to be a member of IPSA must be approved by the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA, known as SCIPSA.

The Speaker has had regard to the Commissioner for Public Appointments code of practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies, which allows for the appointment of a candidate from the reserve list when a vacancy occurs within 12 months of a previous recruitment process. The Speaker’s Committee met on 14 June to discuss how to proceed and agreed to offer the position of parliamentary member of the IPSA board to Jenny Willott, the Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central from 2005 to 2015, who was identified as an appointable candidate in the previous recruitment process.

If the appointment is made, Jenny Willott will serve on the IPSA board until 31 December 2020. The Speaker’s Committee has produced a report—its second report of 2016—in relation to the motion, which was circulated yesterday to members of this Committee. I hope that the Committee, and ultimately the House, will support the appointment. We wish Mrs Willott well as she takes up her new post.

It is a pleasure to support the motion. Many of us have known Jenny Willott for many years for her splendid service in the House. She served with great distinction as the Member for a neighbouring constituency to mine, sometimes called Cardiff Central, but known to us as Newport Far West.

It is fascinating that in the protozoan world of mini-democracy, Viscount Thurso has gone because he was in an election where the entire group of possible candidates was seven, the electorate was three and he gained 100% of the vote. Following that triumph of democracy, it is a pleasure to see Jenny Willott take his place. We welcome her and wish her well in her duties.

Question put and agreed to.

Committee rose.