Labour MP Rachel Reeves elected as BEIS select committee chair

Image: Policy Exchange.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves, widely tipped as one of the party’s rising stars, has been selected as chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

Reeves was selected from a pool of four candidates after Labour was chosen to nominate the committee’s chair.

She fended off competition from Liam Byrne, Ian Lucas and Albert Owen.

Her nomination was backed by former Labour energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband and former energy and climate change select committee member Rushanara Ali.

Unlike the other three nominees, Reeves placed the development of climate change policies amongst her prospective priorities in the role.

“From ensuring we have the best possible industrial strategy for all of the United Kingdom, to securing a sustainable and cost-effective energy policy, boosting the UK’s productivity, ensuring small businesses get the support they need, and looking at the future of work in an environment of new technology and ever growing competition - the BEIS Department is at the heart of many of the crucial issues facing the UK,” Reeves wrote in her statement.

Reeves was a clear frontrunner for the position in first round of voting, securing 277 votes to Liam Byrne’s 149 and Albert Owen’s 97. Ian Lucas was eliminated from the vote for a second round of voting which saw Reeves elected with 291 votes.

After her victory  the Leeds West MP said she was honoured to build on the previous chair Iain Wright’s work.

One of her immediate priorities will be to push the department on its oft-delayed Clean Growth Plan. Originally due for publication before the end of last year, new climate change minister Claire Perry has since said the document – which will underpin much of the government’s energy policy for the foreseeable future – is to be unveiled in September.