Government wins committee change vote

Image source, AFP

Controversial changes giving the government control of key Parliamentary committees have been agreed by MPs.

The vote gives the Tories a majority on the public bill committees in charge of the detailed scrutiny of legislation.

Opposition MPs said it was a "constitutional outrage" and a "power grab" from a government lacking a Commons majority.

But ministers said they should be able to make progress on getting legislation through Parliament.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said the Tories had a "working majority" due to their arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party, which was agreed after June's general election left the UK with a hung Parliament.

'Undemocratic power grab'

The public, she said, "rightly has an expectation for government to deliver business through the House in a timely fashion".

But Labour's Angela Eagle said the DUP deal did not entitle the government to "gerrymander the selection of standing committees in order to make life easier".

The SNP's Pete Wishart said it was an "incredible, totally undemocratic power grab from a government that does not command a majority in this House".

The DUP had already confirmed it would be supporting the government in Tuesday night's vote, and the motion was passed by 320 votes to 301.