Calls to Increase Select Committee Powers to Deal with Witnesses

Chris Bryant, Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House, called for non-appearance before a select committee to be a criminal offence. He cited a number of reluctant attendees like Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch, as well as Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft who never did turn up. Chris Grayling’s response showed him amenable and he promised action on witnesses who refuse to attend hearings.

Current non-attendees include:

  1. Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct who has had to be summoned to the Business select committee after refusing invitations. He is due to appear 7th June and shows no sign of being willing at the moment.
  2. Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Vote Leave who failed to appear in front of the Treasury Committee for its Brexit inquiry.

These are good examples to illustrate the limitations of select committees in carrying out its scrutiny function. Useful for Unit 2 Parliament topic. Watch this space to see if any changes occur …

See this article for more details:



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