Before we come to the next urgent question, I must inform the House that Dr Andrew Murrison has written to me giving notice of his wish to resign from the Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. I therefore declare the Chair vacant. In doing so, I hope the whole House will want to join me in appreciation of the work of Dr Murrison in chairing the Select Committee with great commitment and skill. Moreover, colleagues will be aware that he has left the Chair of the Committee because he has returned to the service of the Executive. He has become a Minister again, and he was performing from the Treasury Bench yesterday at Foreign and Commonwealth Office questions. We wish him well in the execution of his important new responsibilities and congratulate him on his success.
The following will be the arrangements for electing a new Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. Nominations should be submitted in the Lower Table Office or the procedural hub by 5 pm on Monday 10 June. Following the House’s decision of 4 July 2017, only members of the Conservative party may be candidates in this election. Colleagues will understand why that is so, but for the benefit of those attending our proceedings who are not Members of the House, that is because of the distribution of Chairs between the parties. This particular Committee has been designated for a Conservative Chair in this Parliament. If there is more than one candidate, the ballot will take place on Wednesday 12 June from 10 am to 1.30 pm in Committee Room 16. A briefing note with more details about this election will be made available to Members.