Two MPs who have held the government to account over waste issues will continue to chair influential parliamentary select committees, following nominations by MPs this week.
Mary Creagh, the Labour MP for Wakefield, has been confirmed as the chair of the Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee, having stood for the post unopposed, and the Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, will continue in his role as chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee for the 2017 Parliament.
Both MPs had held the roles prior to the June General Election, with Mrs Creagh having taken over the role in February 2016. She had served as Labour’s Shadow Defra minister between 2010 and 2013 under Ed Miliband’s leadership.
As Environmental Audit Committee chair she has been vocal on the potential for Brexit to undermine environmental laws, and has led inquiries into the Treasury’s policies on areas including waste, as well as launching a probe into plastic bottle and coffee cup waste.
On her re-election as chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mrs Creagh said: “I am delighted to be re-elected Chair of Parliament’s cross-party green watchdog, the Environmental Audit Committee. Solving environmental problems like air pollution, plastic waste and wildlife loss is vital if we want to leave a better world for our children.
“The environment was conspicuously absent from the Queen’s Speech. I am determined it will not be ignored in the Brexit negotiations.”
Mr Parish faced opposition for his re-election for the post, with Conservatives Zac Goldsmith and Bill Wiggin both having put themselves forward for the role, but he easily secured the support of his colleagues in Parliament capturing 324 votes against his challengers’ 107 and 137 respectively.
Under his stewardship since 2015, the EFRA committee has led a high-profile inquiry into food waste, which has seen government ministers, WRAP, retailers and reprocessors all grilled over their work to divert food from landfill.
Commenting on his reappointment, Mr Parish said: “I am delighted to have been re-elected as Chair of the EFRA Committee.
“The coming months are crucial for Defra in preparing for the Brexit negotiations. My Committee has a vital role to play. I look forward to working with colleagues across the House to hold the government’s feet to the fire on issues such as Brexit preparations, post-Brexit agricultural policy and air quality.
“I am keen to continue our work listening to the concerns of rural communities and stakeholders in the agricultural and environmental sectors to make sure their voices are heard in Parliament.”