Scotland politics

SNP MPs Pete Wishart and Angus MacNeil to chair Commons committees

Pete Wishart and Angus MacNeil
Image caption Mr Wishart (left) has been an MP since 2001 and Mr MacNeil since 2005

Pete Wishart and Angus MacNeil are to chair the two SNP-led House of Commons committees, it has been announced.

Perth and North Perthshire MP Mr Wishart will chair the Scottish Affairs Committee.

Mr MacNeil, the MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, will chair the Energy and Climate Change Committee.

Mr Wishart said he was "delighted" at his appointment, while Mr MacNeil said he recognised the challenges ahead.

Both candidates were the SNP's sole nominees for the chairmanship positions.

Following the SNP's success in the general election, which saw them win 56 of the 59 Scottish seats at Westminster, they were given the chair of two House of Commons select committees.

The two SNP MPs will assume their responsibilities next week when all other Select Committee chairs are announced.

'Big job to be done'

Mr Wishart, who succeeds former Labour MP Ian Davidson said: "There is a huge range of work to be done by the committee with a Scotland Bill progressing through parliament, English votes for English laws and a whole range of reserved legislation which directly impacts on the people of Scotland.

"I intend to return the committee to its original purpose of scrutinising the work of the Scotland Office and looking at legislation that affects Scotland as it goes through the House of Commons.

"I want to put the last few years of the committee behind us and chair through consensus looking to build partnerships and improve relationships.

"There is a big job to be done by the Scottish Affairs Committee and I am very much looking forward to getting down to work."

Speaking about his nomination, Mr MacNeil said: "I recognise that as chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee there will be many challenges ahead but I look forward to shaping and driving forward the work of the committee over the next five years.

"While I recognise it is a challenging time for the energy industry it is also a very exciting time to be chairing this committee.

"Energy and Climate Change is an issue which is of great importance to my constituency Na h-Eileanan an Iar, to Scotland and to the UK as a whole."

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