Since 2019, I have served as a member of the Treasury Select Committee, offering a valuable chance to scrutinise financial legislation at the highest levels of government.
One of the 19 Select Committees related to Government Departments, the Treasury Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of HM Treasury, HM Revenue & Customs, and all associated public bodies. In practice, this means we are able to question senior figures from across the UK's financial sector, both inside and outside of Government. It holds regular sessions with the Chancellor and his senior officials, as well as the Governor of the Bank of England, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority.
The Committee chooses all its own subjects of inquiry, often based on topical issues such as Covid-19 funding, economic sanctions on Russia, or cost of living. Depending on the subject, an inquiry may last for several months and give rise to a report to the House, or consist of a single day's evidence which the Committee may publish without making a report. All evidence sessions are announced to the press and held in public and can be viewed online via parliamentlive.tv/Commons.
When the Committee has chosen an inquiry it normally invites interested parties to submit written evidence, as well as identifying possible witnesses and issue specific invitations to them to submit written evidence. the committee does have the power, through the House of Commons, to compel witnesses to attend or ensure papers/other material is produced, but these powers are very rarely used.
For the last two years, it has been chaired by the Rt Hon Mel Stride MP, with Angela Eagle MP as Vice Chair. More information on the members of the committee and current/closed inquiries can be found here.
As a member of the Treasury Select Committee since 2019, I have:
- Questioned the Chancellor multiple times, scrutinising his work on infrastructure spending, covid grants, business support, and inflation policy amongst other things.
- Confirmed the appointment of Andrew Bailey as Governor of the Bank of England, and questioned him several times.
- Campaigned to legislate against the advertising of fraud online and via social media.
- Scrutinised the work of key government organisations and regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, and HM Revenue & Customs.
- Grilled former Prime Minister David Cameron over his links to Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital.
- Questioned three former Chancellors to get their views on Covid-19 recovery.
- Taking evidence on the strength of economic sanctions on Russia.
- Defending local causes, including the Plough in Shepreth and road network upgrades.
- Scrutinising legislation on green finance and decarbonisation, including questioning the president of COP26.