Reeves wins coveted post as chair of BEIS Committee, as Mary Creagh and Neil Parish re-elected to key environmental roles
Labour’s Rachel Reeves has been elected as the new chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, and will now be tasked with making good on her promise to establish “sustainable growth” and action on climate change as a priority for the influential committee.
Reeves, who is the MP for Leeds West and a former economist at the Bank of England, emerged victorious in last night’s vote, defeating her Labour colleagues Liam Byrne, Ian C. Lucas, and Albert Owen.
In her statement ahead of the election she said the committee had a crucial role to play in holding the government to account.
“From ensuring we have the best possible industrial strategy for all of the United Kingdom, to securing a sustainable and cost-effective energy policy, boosting the UK’s productivity, ensuring small businesses get the support they need, and looking at the future of work in an environment of new technology and ever growing competition – the BEIS Department is at the heart of many of the crucial issues facing the UK,” she said.
She also promised to make action on climate change a priority for the committee, which subsumed the previous energy and climate change committee when the Department of Energy and Climate Change was folded into the expanded business department.
She said her priorities included developing “sustainable growth and climate change policies that help create new and well paid jobs”.
Last night’s round of select committee elections saw minimal changes to the leadership of the other committees with an environmental remit.
Labour’s Mary Creagh was re-elected as chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, while the Conservative’s Neil Parish comfortably held off a challenge from Zac Goldsmith and Bill Wiggins to return as chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
“I am delighted to be re-elected Chair of Parliament’s cross-party green watchdog, the Environmental Audit Committee,” Said Creagh. “Solving environmental problems like air pollution, plastic waste and wildlife loss is vital if we want to leave a better world for our children. The environment was conspicuously absent from the Queen’s speech. I am determined it will not be ignored in the Brexit negotiations.”
However, there were changes on the Science and Technology and Transport Committees where, respectively, the Liberal Democrats Norman Lamb and Labour’s Lilian Greenwood were elected chairs.