Valerie responds to motion on an appointment to SCIPSA

On behalf of HM Official Opposition, I responded to the motion on the appointment of an lay member to the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

You can read my speech in full below:

I welcome the Minister to the Dispatch Box for what I think is his first outing. It was remarkable, and he has had some friends here in support of him.

I thank the Minister for moving the motion. I too want to thank the board, which was chaired by the then Clerk Assistant, now Clerk of the House, Dr John Benger, and its other members: Sir Hugh Bayley, Michelle Barnes as the independent HR consultant and Mike Page from the House of Commons Service. I also thank the outgoing lay member, Bronwen Curtis, whose appointment will end on 26 January 2020. She has been assiduous in the way she has carried out her independent functions and incisive in her contributions on the Committee.

The Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has published a helpful explanatory memorandum for Members, which is available in the Vote Office. Peter Blausten was selected following a fair and transparent competition. The board was assisted by specialist recruitment agency Veredus, and the recruitment process included an advertisement, shortlisting and interview. The interviewing panel concluded that Mr Blausten’s analytical approach and experience as a human resources director would support the role of scrutinising IPSA’s estimate and overseeing the recruitment of IPSA board members. Her Majesty’s Opposition support this motion.