It’s like the French revolution revisited: not.
MPs have just voted by 206 to 90 votes to alter the terminology which describes the person who heads a select committee: after a two-hour debate on the Chair (Terminology) issue.
To be fair, MPs will now vote on a handful of other less trivial motions including letting MPs elect the chairs of their select committees – thus reducing the power of the whips. Even so, how much does the public really care?
Here are the main reforms which backbenchers are holding up as a small but important victory:
1] Give MPs the ability to directly elect both the chairs and the members (by party) of the Select Committees of the House of Commons;
2] Establishes a Backbench Business Committee to give the Commons control over all non-Government business;
3] stablishes a House Business Committee which will ensure that Government business managers have to seek the approval of senior MPs on matters to put before the Commons and on the scrutiny of important legislation.