Written evidence submitted by Lord Young of Cookham



Many thanks for inviting me to comment on the Committee’s recent report on select committee powers.


I have memories of the Maxwell brothers being summoned to a Select Committee, and saying, that on the advice of their solicitors, they would not answer the questions.


I don’t see how you get round this. It must be a fundamental right that you can’t force someone to incriminate themselves, and I don’t think Select Committee should be able to give people immunity from the law. And there is the tragic case of David Kelly, who sadly took his life after giving evidence to a Select Committee, which suggests we should be careful in giving powers to Select Committees. Their primary task is to hold Ministers to account.


21 June 2021