Committee of Selection (House of Commons)

This paragraph (or sub-paragraphs) have been updated, added or deleted since publication of the 2019 edition. Any sub-paragraphs updated since the 2019 edition can be highlighted by clicking ‘Highlight updates’ below. The most recent updates to this publication were made on August 2021. See the summaries and schedules for each successive update from the Home page.

43.11The Committee of Selection (appointed under Private Business Standing Orders 109–118) consists of nine Members, with a quorum of three. On 21 June 2010 the Committee of Selection was nominated for one session only, but it is usually nominated for the duration of a Parliament. In 2017, the House passed an order appointing a Selection Committee for the duration of the Parliament, giving it the powers of the Committee of Selection in respect of private business.1

Although originally established as a private business committee, the most significant responsibilities of the Committee of Selection for many years have related to public business: in particular the nomination of members of certain select committees for decision by the House,2 and the nomination of the members of general committees.3 The duties of the committee in relation to private business are laid down in Standing Orders 103, 109–118, 124, 131, 217, 228, 229 and 243 (HC). The committee is responsible for nominating and filling vacancies on:

  1. The panel from which committees on unopposed private bills are selected.
  2. Committees on opposed private bills.
  3. The Standing Orders Committee.
  4. The parliamentary panel of Members to act as Commissioners under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1936.
  5. Members to serve on joint committees on Scottish provisional order bills.
  6. Members to serve on joint committees on petitions against special procedure orders.

If so ordered by the House, the committee also nominates members of select committees on private and hybrid bills and Members to serve on joint committees on private bills and to fill any vacancy occurring among such members. In the exercise of its various duties, the committee is empowered by Standing Order 118 to send for persons, papers and records. By virtue of Standing Order 118A, the committee may meet on a day when the House does not sit, but only by permission of the Chairman of Ways and Means. Further details of the committee's activities are described at para 39.3.


  1. 1. Votes and Proceedings, 12 September 2017.
  2. 2. SO No 121.
  3. 3. SO Nos 86, 92, 102, 109, 117 and 119.