New committee chair promises 'horizon-scanning'


Conservative MP Iain Stewart has been elected as the new chair of the Transport Select Committee, replacing Huw Merriman, who is now a minister in the Department for Transport (DfT).

Mr Stewart (pictured) has been the MP for Milton Keynes South since 2010, having been re-elected three times. He was not a member of the committee at the time of the election but served on three previous iterations between 2010 and 2017.

He said: ‘I am delighted to have been entrusted by the House to chair this vital committee and thank all who supported me.

‘I have a real passion for, and experience in, transport issues and I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues on the committee to complete the existing programme of work and establish fresh inquiries.

‘I want the committee both to scrutinise and hold to account government, agencies and operators, but also to do important horizon-scanning pro-active work into future opportunities and challenges.’

The election for the new chair was only open to nominees from the Conservative Party, although all MPs were allowed to vote.

The other five nominees, who included existing members of the committee and two recent transport ministers, were Jack Brereton, Jackie Doyle-Price, Katherine Fletcher, Chris Loder and Karl McCartney.

Andy Bagnall, chief executive of Rail Partners, said: ‘We welcome the news of Iain Stewart’s appointment. He brings a wealth of experience as a former member of the committee and also as the DfT’s parliamentary private secretary, and we wish him well in his tenure.

‘The Committee plays a vital scrutiny role as the railway responds to the challenges it faces. Rail Partners and its members look forward to working with the committee to ensure the opportunity of reform is maximised in the interest of passengers, freight customers and taxpayers.’

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