The House of Commons has confirmed the six MPs who will sit on a committee to scrutinise the Government’s proposed changes to the regulatory architecture.
The MPs on the committee will be Labour MP for Leeds East George Mudie and Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds David Ruffley, who are both members of the Treasury select committee, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East Nicholas Brown, Conservative MP for Hitchen and Harpenden Peter Lilley, Conservative MP for Warrington South David Mowat and Liberal Democrat MP for Yeovil David Laws.
The Government published its draft Financial Services Bill in June. It sets out plans to split the FSA into the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and to set up the Financial Policy Committee to ensure financial stability. The draft bill will now go through 12 weeks of pre-legislative scrutiny after summer recess – the Treasury wanted it to be begin before the break – before the committee reports by December 1.
The twelve member committee will also feature six Lords who have yet to be announced.
Last night was the fifth time the motion was tabled. After the first, Labour MPs John Mann and Thomas Docherty placed amendments asking for Liberal Democrat MP David Laws to be removed from the committee. Each time MPs objected to the motion which led to it being debated last night.
Laws was suspended from the House of Commons for seven days in May after standards and privileges committee report found him guilty of a “series of serious breaches of the rules of the house of commons over a considerable time”.
Speaking in Parliament last night, Docherty said he has severe doubts about whether Laws is “adequately suited to the task” of scrutinising the draft bill.
He said: “I absolutely believe that if someone is forced to pay back £56,000 to which they were not entitled because they had knowingly misled the taxpayer – the fees office – they should be excluded from being a member who oversees the new financial services regulation.”
A member of the new committee, David Mowat, defended Laws, asking: “How many of the nominees does he think know more about international financial services than the right honourable member for Yeovil?”
Speaking to Money Marketing, Liberal Democrat MP and Treasury select committee member John Thurso says: “This was a couple of good old-fashioned old labour chancers using some parliamentary procedures to cause problems for David Laws. He has an exceptional brain, is extremely good on regulation and working on bills committees is a good way to work his way back in.”
According to Hansard, the written record of Parliamentary proceedings, when Docherty called in the debate for Laws to be left out of the committee MPs shouted “shame”. In the end the motion with all six members was passed by 297 votes to six.