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Nominations open for the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

15 April 2024

The Speaker has announced the timetable for the election of the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC), following the resignation of William Wragg MP. 

Nominations close at noon on Tuesday 7 May 2024. If there is more than one candidate, a ballot of the whole House will take place on Wednesday 8 May between 11.00 and 14.30. 

The House agreed in 2020 to allocate the Chair of PACAC to the Conservative Party. Candidates require the support of 15 fellow Conservative MPs for their nomination to be valid. Nominations may be accompanied by the signatures of no more than five Members elected to the House of Commons as members of other parties, or no party.  

If only one MP is nominated for the 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 result 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. They will also be published on the Parliament website along with the candidate’s supporting statement, signatories and any declared interests.


Dame Jackie Doyle-Price

MP for Thurrock

Nominated by (own party)

Siobhan Baillie, Adam Afriyie, Nick Fletcher, Sir Alec Shelbrooke, Dame Caroline Dinenage, Caroline Nokes, Andrew Jones, Sir David Evennett, Angela Richardson, Sara Britcliffe, Craig Whittaker, Steve Tuckwell, David Mundell, Robert Halfon, Sir Robert Neill 

Nominated by (other parties, or no party)

Neale Hanvey, Rosie Duffield, Carolyn Harris, Judith Cummins, Grahame Morris 

Relevant interests declared


Supporting Statement

Respect for our institutions of Government requires that we subject them to robust challenge.  It is a necessary feature of the functioning of our constitution that they are held up to scrutiny and that accountability is seen to be real.   

Our constitution rests on the respect and observation of convention and custom.  This said we have seen the emergence of new behaviours, relationships and institutions which challenge some of the assumptions on which our unwritten constitution is built.  For example, devolution is testing the abilities of Whitehall.  Questions have been raised about the impartiality and independence of the civil service.  The ministerial code has been shown to be less than effective on occasions.  It has been suggested that there is a democratic deficit resulting from the establishment of arm’s-length independent bodies.  The relationship between no 10 and Government departments merits examination if we are to uphold ministerial accountability.  Moreover, ministerial accountability to Parliament may not provide sufficient scrutiny of the executive if decisions are increasingly influenced by those with no accountability. 

These are all lofty constitutional questions but I am under no illusion that this term of office is for but a limited period.  Nevertheless I would use the time left in this Parliament to ensure that the necessary questions are asked to uphold good governance and appropriate cultural behaviour.  The committee has ongoing inquiries into: devolution capability in Whitehall;  Civil Service leadership and Reform; Lobbying; and the House of Lords. These require completion and offer an opportunity to articulate the behaviours required if we are to protect the integrity of our Constitution and its institutions. 

I served on the committee from January 2020 until September 2022, deputising for the chair on occasions.  I also served on the Joint Committee which examined the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and advised on the repeal legislation.  I have a very keen interest in constitutional matters and I am ready to return to the PACAC Committee as its chair if the House would be so generous to allow me. 

Tom Randall

MP for Gedling

Nominated by (own party)

Michael Fabricant, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Robert Jenrick, Darren Henry, Gary Sambrook, Nicola Richards, Sir Graham Brady, Jane Hunt, Dr James Davies, Richard Graham, Henry Smith, Sarah Atherton, Dr Caroline Johnson, Maggie Throup, Brendan Clarke-Smith

Relevant interests declared


Supporting Statement

Over the last four years, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has offered detailed and intelligent scrutiny of the government across a range of subjects, from the efficacy of vaccine passports to the role of the Prime Minister’s office to the parliamentary scrutiny of international treaties. This work has been important and sometimes high-profile. It has been a privilege, as well as personally intellectually satisfying, to have been a member of this committee continuously for these last four years. 

There is now a vacancy for the chair. I have decided to stand for the following reasons: 

First, continuity is important. Having been a member of PACAC continuously since early 2020 I have a solid grasp of the breadth of the committee’s work, including its important non-inquiry work. 

Secondly, I also feel that I know what the committee has to do: there are a number of open inquiries that need to be completed on important subjects, including on civil service leadership and reform. Having assiduously participated in these inquiries, I would be up to speed on Day One as Chair. 

Thirdly, while this would be a new experience for me, I am excited and eager to make a success of the role, should the House elect me. I believe that I can draw upon my experiences not only on the committee but also as an APPG Chair over the last four years to do the job well. 

Further information

Image credit: House of Commons