Government wins crucial vote to control powerful committees

Government wins crucial vote to control powerful committees

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The government has won a crucial vote to guarantee itself a majority on the committees that scrutinise legislation.

The Conservatives will now gain control of the Committee of Selection, effectively giving them the most amount of MPs on other ‘public bill committees’.

Labour claimed the move was an attempt to “rig Parliament” because the Tories lost their majority at the general election.

But ministers said their party had more than 50% of MPs’ backing, and so that should be reflected in the committees.

The government won the late-night crunch to pass House of Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom’s motion by 320 votes to 301.

It defeated an earlier amendment tabled by Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas and former Liberal Democrat minister Alistair Carmichael that would have wrecked the proposal by 320 votes to 300.

Powerful bill committees playing a key part in checking and suggesting amendments to proposed laws will now have their political make-up tipped in the government’s favour.

Those with an odd number of MPs will have their majorities granted to the Conservatives.

Ms Leadsom said in Tuesday’s debate the public “rightly has an expectation for government to deliver business through the House in a timely fashion”.

(c) Sky News 2017: Government wins crucial vote to control powerful committees