House of Commons Library

Committee of Selection

Published Monday, September 11, 2017

Motions to appoint the Selection Committee are scheduled to be debated on 12 September 2017. This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provides some background information on the Committee of Selection, which has been appointed in previous Parliaments, and on the membership of legislation committees when the Government did not have a majority

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There have been three occasions in relatively recent history when the Government had no majority.

After the February 1974 election, the Government did not have a majority. Even number of government and opposition members were appointed to committees.

In October 1974, the Labour Government secured a narrow majority at the election. Having lost its majority by April 1976, in May 1976 it accepted that it was no longer entitled to a majority on committees.

In January 1995, following the suspension of a number of Members, the Conservative Party technically lost its majority but argued that as it had not lost seats at by-elections or as a result of defections, it should continue to have a majority on committees.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8085

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: House of Commons, Parliamentary procedure

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