Commons shake-up confirmed

Commons reforms will be introduced in next parliament
Commons reforms will be introduced in next parliament

By staff

MPs approved the second half of Tony Wright's reforms to the Commons yesterday, in what backbenchers hailed as a victory over the government.

The government gave its blessing to the proposals originally made by a group of MPs headed by the public administration select committee chairman.

Select committee chairmen will be chosen by a secret ballot, rather than by appointment - and they will be called 'chair' rather than 'chairman'.

Yesterday's was the second of two debates on the Commons reforms proposed by the Wright committee. In the earlier session MPs agreed to establish a backbench-run business committee controlling much of the Commons' time.

A disagreement over the number of days which a backbench business committee would be able to organise - the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats wanted its powers restricted to just 15 days - was rejected.

"We're delighted that the House has voted emphatically for reform," shadow leader of the House Sir George Young said.

"The changes that have been made today will help to make the Commons more effective, more accountable and more relevant to the people outside it.


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