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Privileges Committee to hear from Members of both Houses on select committee powers

29 November 2021

The Committee of Privileges will hear evidence on Tuesday from three panels of witnesses, consisting of peers and MPs including the Leader of the House, to discuss its proposals to strengthen select committee powers.


The Committee’s preliminary proposals were published earlier this year in a landmark report “Select Committees and contempts: clarifying and strengthening powers to call for persons, papers and records”. The Committee’s report addressed the matter currently referred to it by the House – that of “the exercise and enforcement of the powers of the House in relation to select committees and contempts”.


Tuesday 30 November

Panel 1 – 9:45am:

  • Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Senior Deputy Speaker, House of Lords
  • Christopher Johnson, Clerk of the Journals, House of Lords
  • Rt Hon the Lord Judge, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

Panel 2 – 10:15am:

  • Damian Collins MP, Chair, Joint Committee on the Online Harms Bill, and former Chair, Digital, Media, Culture and Sport Committee
  • Sir Bob Neill MP, Chair, Justice Committee
  • Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Chair, Women and Equalities Committee

Panel 3 – 11:00am:

  • Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House

The public evidence session forms part of a wider consultation on the proposals, ahead of the Committee publishing a final report with recommendations to the House.

The Committee’s report considered different options for how the House could address the issue of the enforcement of select committee powers, recommending new legislation to confirm its historic powers to summon witnesses and call for documents. The report included a draft bill for consultation that would make failure to comply with a summons issued by a select committee a criminal offence, with the person ultimately liable to a fine or imprisonment as determined by the courts.

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright