The election of Sir Oliver Heald QC MP to serve on the House of Commons Governance Select Committee was confirmed by the House last night. The Committee was set up by the House of Commons after a debate on the 10th of September 2014 in response to the recent controversy over the appointment of a new Clerk of the House of Commons, and the disagreement over exactly what that role should entail. Sir Oliver was elected to the Committee by fellow Conservative MPs to be one of their three-member allocation of seats on the eight-member panel. To be chaired by Jack Straw MP, the Committee is to ‘consider the governance of the House of Commons, including the future allocation of the responsibilities for House services currently exercised by the Clerk of the House and Chief Executive’, and must report by January the 12th.
Sir Oliver said, ‘I am delighted to have been appointed to this important position. The position of Clerk combines two crucial roles: constitutional and procedural advisor to the Speaker and Chief Executive of the House. It is vital that the House is organised so that both of these roles can be performed effectively. I look forward to using my experience as a former Law Officer, and as a member of the House of Commons Commission, and the Administration, Modernisation, and Standards & Privileges Committees to make my contributions to the Committee.”