New leaders chosen for parliament’s technology watchdogs

Written by Sam Trendall on 31 January 2020 in News

Select committee chairs announced

Malcolm Croft/PA Archive/PA Images

Former business secretary Greg Clark has been elected as the chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, while Solihull MP Julian Knight will lead the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Clark takes over from Norman Lamb, the former Liberal Democrat MP, who stood down from parliament at the 2019 general election. Under his stewardship, the committee undertook inquiries including an examination of the impact of algorithmic decision-making.

The science and tech committee also conducted a year-long review of digital government that was critical of the Government Digital Service and made a number of recommendations for its future work.

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Clark said: “I’m delighted to have been elected as chair. I look forward to working with MPs from across the house to bring the benefits of science and technology to people in every region of the UK.”

The DCMS committee will now be helmed by another Conservative MP, Julian Knight. He assumes the leadership role after three years as a committee member.

He will replace Damian Collins who, during his tenure, was a vocal critic of Facebook and its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg – whom he repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to compel to appear before MPs, during their inquiry into the Cambridge Analytica scandal and its fallout.

Knight said: “I plan to consolidate our work and take on issues that matter beyond Westminster, building on what we have already achieved.”

The influential public accounts committee retains Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, Meg Hillier, as its chair.


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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