I have a confession to make. Today I voted for both Labour and Conservative MPs – something I can honestly say I have never done before!
For the first time MPs have been voting for MPs to Chair the Select Committees. A few Select Committees were uncontested, including the 2 Select Committees Chaired by Lib Dems and my previous Select Committee, the Transport Select Committee, where Louise Ellman has been re-elected without an election.
However there are numerous contested elections, and for many MPs, particularly the new ones, they do not know the individuals standing for election. This means that many people are relying on colleagues to advise them who will do a good job, rather than their own judgement. Nevertheless, it is certainly the case that it is far more democratic than the previous selection of Committee Chairs that used to take place in smoke-filled (and now smoke-free) rooms by a group of Government Whips.
The results of the election are declared on Thursday. whoever wins, the new Select Committee Chairs will be significantly different from the ones that we have had before.