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Chair urges Cabinet not to shy away from scrutiny

23 February 2021

Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has criticised the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, for not doing more to ensure that policy decisions on covid-19 were open to scrutiny.

Background

The Minister for the Cabinet Office had been invited, alongside the Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock, to give evidence to the Committee as part of its inquiry.

Ministers from their respective departments were sent in their place. However they were unable to answer all questions put to them as some of the issues were outside their remit or they were not involved in the decision making processes.

Michael Gove declined a further invitation to give evidence.

Chair's comments

Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, William Wragg MP said:

"We are extremely disappointed that we have been unable to take evidence from the Ministers responsible for key questions on how data has been used to combat the covid-19 pandemic.

"Secretaries of State and Government Ministers are accountable to Parliament for the decisions they make. When a Select Committee holds an inquiry those responsible for the policy must make themselves available to answer for their decisions. On that measure, in this instance the Government has fallen short.

"I would urge the Government to reconsider how it engages with Parliamentary scrutiny and not shy away from Select Committees in the future. The public will come to its own judgement on how it performs on this measure."

Further information

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