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Chair nominations open for Business and Trade Committee and the Petitions Committee

6 September 2023

Nominations are now open for Chair of the Business and Trade Committee and the Chair of the Petitions Committee, following the resignation of Darren Jones and Catherine McKinnell.

The nominations period will run from 6 September to noon on 17 October. 
If there is more than one candidate, a ballot of the whole House will take place on Wednesday 18 October between 11.00 and 14.30. 

Jump to Nominations for the Business and Trade Committee

Jump to Nominations for the Petitions Committee

Under the standing orders of the House, the new Chairs of both Committees are allocated to the Labour Party. Candidates require the support of 15 fellow Labour MPs for their nomination to be valid.  

If only one MP is nominated for each role, they are elected unopposed. If two or more MPs stand, there follows a ballot where MPs vote by ranking candidates in order of preference. Votes are later counted under the Alternative Vote system. The results will be announced in the chamber later that day. 

Valid nominations received on sitting days will be printed in the next day’s House business papers.

A list of nominees with any accompanying statements will also be added to this page as they come in.

Business and Trade Committee Nominations

Liam Byrne

MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill

Nominated by (own party)

Sir Stephen Timms, Jess Phillips, Clive Efford, Stella Creasy, John Spellar, Preet Kaur Gill, Mr Virendra Sharma, Mrs Paulette Hamilton, Fabian Hamilton, Paul Blomfield, Steve McCabe, Mr Barry Sheerman, Khalid Mahmood, Karl Turner, Tahir Ali

Nominated by (other parties, or no party)

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Mr David Davis, John Penrose, Mrs Heather Wheeler, Damian Green

Interests declared

Chair, Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund

Member, Unison

Supporting Statement


  • Elected chair, Global Parliamentary Network on the Interational Monetary Fund & the World Bank
  • Former Cabinet Minister & Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • Author of Turning to Face the East: How Britain Prospers in the Asian Century and Dragons: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain
  • Editor of The Future of Work for the People We Serve and Just Transitions
  • Member, Foreign Affairs Committee and British American Parliamentary Group
  • Nineteen years serving former manufacturing constituency


  • Sustain the Committee's forensic focus exposing bad behaviour
  • Serious long-term thinking on how the UK competes with Bidenomics, Brussels and Beijing
  • Special focus on harnessing net zero to re-industrialise Britain, back our entrepreneurs and boost exports
  • Reconnecting economic growth and social justice


  • A decade chairing cross-party work on inclusive growth with colleagues across the House, business groups, trade unions, faith communities, civil society groups, think tanks and the OECD
  • Proud to have helped secure change in the law on SLAPPs, working across the House
  • Strong track record working cross-party on battling economic crime, support for Ukraine, seizure of Russian assets - and de-risking relationship with China


  • Started work in McDonalds at 16 and thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship went from a comprehensive school in Harlow to the Harvard Business School. A life-long Atlanticist.
  • Founded and grew a venture-backed technology business before entering Parliament. Passionate about enterprise.
  • Cabinet experience with some of the toughest jobs in Government, in the Home Office, 10 Downing Street and HM Treasury. I know how Government works
  • Nearly twenty years study and close experience of China, including writing my book, Turning To Face the East

Dame Angela Eagle

MP for Wallasey

Nominated by (own party)

Ms Harriet Harman, Mr Clive Betts, Dame Meg Hillier, Liz Kendall, Rushanara Ali, Luke Pollard, Samantha Dixon, Dame Diana Johnson, Kevin Brennan, Ms Lyn Brown, Stephanie Peacock, Julie Elliott, Sarah Owen, Matthew Pennycook, Dame Nia Griffith.

Nominated by (other parties, or no party)

Alison Thewliss, Patrick Grady, Harriett Baldwin, Dame Maria Miller, Munira Wilson.

Interests declared


Supporting Statement

If we are to renew and rebuild our economic strength in a turbulent and rapidly changing world, it is increasingly clear Government must produce innovative solutions. If we are to maximise our economic potential and create the conditions to achieve prosperity and opportunity for all in the future, we must solve the productivity puzzle and generate sustainable growth. We must also confront the strategic challenges of the switch to net zero in the middle of the rapidly developing ‘fourth industrial revolution.’

We face many challenges, but there are also many opportunities.

A well-functioning and well led Select Committee can ensure that the Government is kept on its toes, ensuring it undertakes effective measures to help facilitate this transformation and ensure that our workers, nations and regions benefit from the creation of new opportunities.

The current Business and Trade Committee, adeptly led by Darren Jones, has done brilliant work bringing effective scrutiny and accountability to both Government and industry in a wide variety of vital areas such as Post-Office abuses of power, energy sector regulation and the questionable corporate behaviour of P&O. Its forward agenda contains important work including the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles and post-pandemic and export-led growth.

I am standing for Chair of the Committee because I have experience of complex economic policy areas, both in Government and in Opposition, to match the seriousness of the challenging times we face. Indeed, I shadowed the Department in Opposition.

I know from long Parliamentary experience the necessity of working across party lines to reach the consensus vital to ensuring the Committees reports are influential and respected. Select Committees best scrutinise the work of Government when grandstanding is left at the door and the views of all parties, including the smaller ones, are reflected. I am an experienced and fair chair both of Parliamentary proceedings and in other contexts having stepped in as Interim Chair of the Treasury Select Committee.

During my time in Parliament, I have spent eight years as a Minister including at the Treasury, six on the front bench in Opposition and been a member of four different Select Committees including Employment, Public Accounts Committees, and Treasury. Moreover, my four years on the House of Commons Commission showed that I can work successfully in an area requiring cross party consensus.

If I am elected as Chair of the Committee, I will bring this experience to the ambitious forward programme, ensuring the committee does not lose sight of the needs of the nations and regions, which are far too often forgotten in a heavily centralised Whitehall system, yet hold the keys to our country’s future prosperity.

I would be honoured to be chosen to take forward the pressing work of this important committee, and I believe I have the experience to do so.

Andy McDonald

MP for Middlesbrough

Nominated by (own party)

Mr Kevan Jones, Dan Carden, Charlotte Nichols, Ian Lavery, Rachael Maskell, Peter Dowd, Olivia Blake, Dawn Butler, Kim Johnson, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Margaret Greenwood, Ian Mearns, Clive Lewis, Cat Smith, Mick Whitley.

Nominated by (other parties or no party)

Antony Higginbotham, Chris Stephens, Chris Loder, Richard Fuller, Peter Aldous.

Interests declared

Member of Unite the Union.

Supporting Statement

One of the many honours of being an MP is to serve on a select committee. That very much applies to my time serving on the Business and Trade Committee and its BEIS predecessor over the last 18 months. 

The departmental reconfiguration was the right thing to do as it was clear from the work we did on energy and net zero, that those issues required ever greater focus and attention both in terms of policy and in implementation, but also in terms of scrutiny. 

Our BEIS inquiries did expose significant failings in our domestic retail energy architecture, and it was clear that the function and performance of regulation needed considerable attention. The market as then constructed produced considerable deficits that impacted so negatively on our constituents. 

Under the excellent chair of Darren Jones, I was proud of the work we did, not only in respect of the energy retail market but also in respect of P&O Ferries and their appalling treatment of its own workforce and of course of our work regarding the appalling Post Office scandal and much more besides. 

In this post-Brexit, net- zero age, by embracing the country’s technological and innovative advantages we are well-placed to be at the forefront and reap the rewards with good, well-paid employment for millions of our citizens in the decades ahead. 

It is therefore imperative that government policy rises to these challenges and the scrutiny work of the Business and Trade Select committee, including the intelligence and security imperatives, is key in making sure that those challenges are safely and fully met.  

In the fields of technology and energy security, we as a nation must be vigilant to the threats posed by other actors and the role the Committee does in that regard is an essential element. I refer to amongst other things the work we did around semi-conductors and critical minerals. 

Leaving the EU presents challenges, for example that faced by our automotive industry as we approach the raising of the Rules of Origin thresholds with our European neighbours. 

The Committee’s work, hearing from manufacturers, has hopefully helped them as they strive to concentrate government minds as to the scale and immediacy of the issues they face. 

We as a committee have been engaged with officials on the work they do in terms of the new and developing global trading relationships and the committee is focussed on ensuring that such trade deals work to the best advantage of the UK and that issues such as climate change, human rights and working conditions remain ever present in our discussions and negotiations. 

Having run businesses myself, I am more than aware of the challenges faced by the entrepreneurs upon whom the success of our country depends on, and I have them and their staff firmly in mind as we go about our committee work.  

We work in nonpartisan and collegiate way in committee and as Chair I would continue in that vein, and I would welcome the opportunity to serve.

Petitions Committee Nominations

Marsha De Cordova

MP for Battersea

Nominated by (own party)

Mr David Lammy, Florence Eshalomi, Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Kim Johnson, Valerie Vaz, Sir Mark Hendrick, Naz Shah, Catherine West, Rosie Duffield, Rachel Hopkins, Paul Blomfield, Chi Onwurah, Kate Osamor, Abena Oppong-Asare, Fleur Anderson.

Nominated by (other parties, or no party)

James Sunderland, Mark Fletcher, Tom Hunt, Andrea Leadsom, Tim Farron.

Interests declared


Supporting Statement

It would be an honour and a privilege to be the Chair of the Petitions Committee.

A key function of our democracy is the way in which our constituents can engage with us, their elected representatives. I am standing to be Chair as I believe my experience as a member of the Committee will enable me to ensure the Committee is a powerful mechanism that connects people with Parliament including where appropriate in collaboration with other Select Committees. Through this, constituents can raise crucial and important issues that matter, hold the government and Parliament to account, and most importantly, bring about positive change in their communities.

My Shadow Ministerial experience in my roles as Shadow Minister for Disabled People and Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, will also allow me to successfully lead and champion the issues that matter to our constituents.

During my time on the Committee, I have met with petitioners and led important Committee debates, giving a voice to what matters most to our constituents and I have been involved in evidence sessions, including most recently on suicide rates in higher education. As such, I have acquired extensive knowledge of the Committee’s functions and responsibilities, and I have built a strong relationship with Committee staff.

I believe in the value of petitions to raise awareness, influence, and deliver change and ensuring the public feel connected to the work of the House.

As Chair of the Committee, I will work in a cross-party way to strengthen the voices of our constituents.

I would be most grateful for your support.

Cat Smith

MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Nominated by (own party)

Sir Stephen Timms, Mr Ben Bradshaw, Andy McDonald, Stella Creasy, Ms Harriet Harman, Apsana Begum, Andrew Gwynne, Dame Diana Johnson, Clive Lewis, Emma Hardy, Dan Jarvis, Emma Lewell-Buck, Anna McMorrin, John McDonnell, Stephanie Peacock

Nominated by (other parties, or no party)

Martyn Day, Jonathan Gullis, Chris Clarkson, Mr Ranil Jayawardena, Jim Shannon

Interests declared


Supporting Statement

I am standing to chair the Petitions Committee because I feel very strongly about public engagement in democracy. Around the world democracies are under threat, it’s essential we strengthen our own. The public petitions have been a great success story in how we can involve our constituents in the work we do, and they can raise the issues that matter to them.

Having served as a shadow minister for voter engagement (2016-2021) I valued the opportunity to try and break down the barriers the public perceive there to be between their lives and the work we do here in Westminster.

I am hoping that through this role on the Petitions Committee and through my membership of the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission I can further this work and make democracy stronger and work better for everyone.

In my time in the House I have always forged constructive and good work relationships with colleagues across all parties.

Having served as a member on three select committees in my time as an MP I am a passionate defender of them, and keen to make sure the voice of back benchers is always heard. I hope you will consider supporting me as a pro-democracy and independently minded colleague.

Liz Twist

MP for Blaydon

Nominated by (own party)

Julie Elliott, Matt Western, Chris Evans, Mary Glindon, Judith Cummins, Mr Kevan Jones, Marie Rimmer, Alex Norris, Gill Furniss, Justin Madders, Alex Cunningham, John Spellar, Navendu Mishra, Gareth Thomas, Taiwo Owatemi

Nominated by (other parties or no party)

Marion Fellows, Karen Bradley, Andrew Jones, Dame Maria Miller, Mark Jenkinson

Interests declared


Supporting Statement

I have decided to put my name forward in the election for Chair of the Petitions Committee and I am asking for your support.

The Petitions Committee plays a unique part in involving our constituents in our work here in Parliament. It gives them a direct voice in expressing their views and bringing forward the issues which concern them. The wider work of the committee, beyond the debates, but looking toward the public engagement around the committee debates, outreach work and, at times, inquiries on the subject matter of the petitions, benefits our democracy and makes us better parliamentarians.

As an active member of the Petitions Committee (2017-2019), I know what an impact some of those debates can have on people and policy – whether it’s leading debates on the petition for BSL to be made compulsory in schools, or on the need for increased school funding or, more recently, contributing to the “3 Dads Walking” debate which focused on including suicide prevention education in the RSHE.

Like most of us, I have also been enthusiastically involved in Parliament Week activities with local groups and schools, keeping in touch with what matters to our constituents – young or slightly older – and speaking with them to explain how Parliament works.

In my work on APPGs, I bring MPs from all parties together to work collaboratively on challenging issues, often of real importance to our constituents, involving external organisations, who may have a wide range of views. I believe that this work stands me in good stead to Chair the Petitions Committee, bringing people into Westminster, so we can involve them in our work here and show them how they can participate effectively in our work and the democratic process.

I’ve worked across a range of parliament bodies, from bill committees to chairing enquiries and pride myself at working to centre our constituents at the heart of everything we do. As parliamentarians, I want to work to make sure we are aware of the issues that are being raised and work to better inform everyone of the work the petitions committee is doing.

I believe I have the right skills and the right approach to Chair the Petitions Committee, and I ask that you vote for me in this election.

Further information

Header image credit: UK Parliament/Elspeth Keep