MPs pick new Home Affairs Committee chair

Diana Johnson wins vote to replace Yvette Cooper on influential scrutiny panel
Dame Diana Johnson. Photo: Parliament/CC BY 3.0

By Jim Dunton

16 Dec 2021

Labour MP Dame Diana Johnson has won the ballot to become the new chair of parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, tasked with scrutinising the work of the Home Office and its agencies.

She beat Rupa Huq and Yasmin Qureshi to succeed Yvette Cooper in the role, after Cooper returned to front-bench politics as shadow home secretary last month – effectively holding home secretary Priti Patel to account in the Commons rather than a committee room.

Johnson, who has represented the Kingston upon Hull North constituency since 2005, served as a government whip and an education minister in the last Labour government, and also sits on the Intelligence and Security Committee.

In her campaign statement to become HASC chair, Johnson pledged to take a cross-party approach to the role.

“Working cross-party is not just my promise – it is my record,” she said.

”It was because I worked cross-party that I secured the public inquiry in 2017 into the NHS infected blood scandal and I am currently working with MPs from other parties on campaigns to end commercial sexual exploitation and to champion a Community Wealth Fund for left-behind neighbourhoods. 

“Previously I have campaigned cross-party on improving flood insurance, on introducing relationships education into schools and on the establishment of women bishops in the Church of England.”

Johnson becomes committee chair with immediate effect.

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