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SCottISH AFFAIRS CoMMIttEE

Volume 677: debated on Monday 15 June 2020

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That David Duguid be discharged from the Scottish Affairs Committee and Douglas Ross be added.—(Bill Wiggin, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for North Herefordshire (Bill Wiggin) for moving the motion on behalf of the Committee, of which I am a member, but I cannot allow this moment to pass without making a few comments. I emphasise that it will be just a few comments. Back in March, my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow North (Patrick Grady) rose in this Chamber to speak on the appointment of the full membership of the Scottish Affairs Committee. He raised a number of important points regarding the outcome of the December election in Scotland and the fact that the membership of the Scottish Affairs Committee was in no way reflective of that. That situation continues. I had certainly hoped that when we saw a change of membership coming forward at this time, there might have been an opportunity to rectify that.

Just to clarify, is my hon. Friend telling the House that, despite the fact that the Tories lost half their seats in Scotland at the general election, they now control and indeed dominate the Scottish Affairs Committee—the Committee that deals with an electorate that has rejected them?

That is most certainly one way that my hon. Friend could put it. It will be a shock to her that I agree. I emphasise that this is absolutely nothing about the individual Member being nominated for the Committee. [Interruption.] I give way to the hon. Member for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (Andrew Bowie).

I was not asking whether the hon. Gentleman would give way, but I would like to put on the record that nobody who sits under the chairmanship of the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) could ever claim, no matter what party they come from, to try to dominate the debate. I think the hon. Member for Midlothian (Owen Thompson) would agree with me on that point.

I absolutely agree with that, and I certainly am delighted to see the Committee under the excellent stewardship of my hon. Friend the Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart). However, I want it recorded that I and my colleagues are disappointed that the opportunity has been missed for a change to the Committee’s membership to better reflect the outcome of the election in Scotland. I hope that, moving forward, the Government will consider that.

The Committee does much important work for Scotland. It is critical that it reflects the views of Scotland and is able to hear the views of Scotland. On that basis, another SNP Member on the Committee would certainly be a far fairer outcome. I emphasise again that this is absolutely nothing to do with the individual being nominated to the Committee; it is about the make-up of the Committee itself, which needs to be rectified.

But he has used the opportunity to make his point. I am grateful to him for clarifying that.

Question put and agreed to.