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A sign should be posted above Blackford’s Westminster office door reading “abandon all thoughts of fighting for independence – Just join a few committee’s the perks are great”

Westminster opposition party financing

The emergence of the two-party system at Westminster removed uncertainty as to which party has the right to be called the ‘Official Opposition’. It is the largest minority party which is prepared, in the event of the resignation of the Government, to assume office.

The Leader of the Opposition and some of the Leader’s principal colleagues are known ‘the Shadow Cabinet’, each member of which is given a particular range of activities on which it is their task to direct criticism of the Government’s policy and administration and to outline alternative policies.

Since 1975, the Official Opposition has been entitled to financial assistance (known as ‘Short Money’) to help meet, among other expenses, the running costs of the office of the Leader of the Opposition. at Westminster but the leader of the SNP decided to create a Shadow Cabinet so that it would be able to challenge the government across the range of ministerial offices.

Remuneration of the pseudo SNP shadow cabinet is found from “short money” mirroring the arrangements for the official opposition. The amount allocated to the SNP in 2022 was around £1.5million.

The Westminster committee system

Westminster Committees are operated across the political spectrum and the make-up of each committee in membership is determined by a select committee. Many SNP MP’s volunteer themselves for membership of one or more committee. The following list provides a record of SNP committee membership at 2022.

Marion Fellows: Whip, and Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Disabilities)

Finance Committee: Considers expenditure on services for the House of Commons and has particular responsibility for the preparation and detailed scrutiny of the House’s budgets.

Commons Select Committee: Considers the services provided for Members, their staff and visitors by the House of Commons Service and makes recommendations to the House of Commons Commission, the Speaker and Officials on how those services are delivered.

Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

Patricia Gibson: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Backbench Business Committee: Gives opportunities to backbench Members of Parliament to bring forward debates of their choice.

Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill (England and Wales).

Alan Brown: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee: Scrutinises the policy, spending and administration of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and its public bodies, including Ofgem, the Financial Reporting Council and the Climate Change Committee.

Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) sub committee.

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill

Richard Thomson: MP: believes there are ‘no questions to answer’ over handling of Patrick Grady scandal as he hits out at leak

Richard Thomson: Shadow Cabinet, Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury – Financial Secretary), Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), and Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Wales)

The Committee of Selection: Nominates Members to serve on General or Select Committees of the House of Commons.

National Insurance Contributions Bill.

Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee (Commons).

Statutory Instruments Committee: Assesses the technical qualities of each instrument that falls within its remit and to decide whether to draw the special attention of the House to any instrument.

Chris Law: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (International Development)

International Development Committee: Scrutinises the spending, administration and policies of the Department for International Development (DFID) and monitors the expenditure of Official Development Assistance (ODA) by other UK government departments.

The Committee on Arms Export Controls: scrutinises respective Government departments.

Dave Dougan: SNP Spokesperson (Defence Procurement)

The Defence Committee: examines the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies.

The Defence Sub-Committee: inquires into topics of its choosing.

The Committee on Arms Export Controls: scrutinises respective Government departments.

Peter Grant: Shadow Cabinet, Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury – Chief Secretary)

Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Sub Committee.

Dormant Assets Bill sub committee.

Public Accounts Committee: Examines the value for money of Government projects, programmes and service delivery.

Public Accounts Commission: Examines the National Audit Office Estimate and lay it before the House, to consider reports from the appointed auditor of the National Audit Office

Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill.

Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill

Ochil and South Perthshire candidate John Nicolson told the audience at the hustings in Alloa: “Please trust me with your vote on December 12. As you know, only the Scottish National Party can beat the Tories here in East Dunbartonshire.”

John Nicolson: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

Cross-party Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee: Responsibility to scrutinise the work of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and its associated public bodies, including the BBC. It examines government policy, spending and administration on behalf of the electorate and the House of Commons.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation: Considers a broad range of issues in this area, including forthcoming legislation on Online Harms.

Online Safety Bill.

Allan Dorans – Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member), and Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Policing)

The Committee of Privileges: Considers specific matters relating to privileges referred to it by the House. The scope of any inquiry comprises all matters relevant to the matter referred.

The Committee on Standards: Cannot take on complaints about Members of Parliament. Such complaints should be directed to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Kirsty Blackman: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: Exists to scrutinise the administration, spending and policy of the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA).

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill.

Online Safety Bill.

Subsidy Control Bill.

Stewart Malcolm McDonald: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Defence)

Foreign Affairs Committee: Examines the expenditure, administration and policy of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other bodies associated with the Foreign Office and within the Committee’s remit, including the British Council.

Deirdie Brock: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding).

Hypocrisy of SNP MP with £630,000 property empire: Nationalist snaps up former council homes and makes fortune in rental income – despite opposing the sale of social housing

Dr Lisa Cameron: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Mental Health)

Glue Traps (Offences) Bill.

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill.

Dr Philippa Whitford: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Europe).

Health and Care Bill.

Martyn Day: Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

Health and Social Care Committee: Scrutinises the work of the Department of Health and Social Care and its associated public bodies. We examine government policy, spending and administration on behalf of the electorate and the House of Commons.

Petition Committee: Considers e-petitions submitted on Parliament’s petitions website and public (paper) petitions presented to the House of Commons, engaging the public directly with the work of the House.

Stuart C McDonald: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

Home Affairs Committee: responsible for scrutinising the work of the Home Office and its associated bodies. It examines government policy, spending and the law in areas including immigration, security and policing.

National Security Bill.

Nationality and Borders Bill.

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill.

Angus Brendan MacNeil: SNP

International Trade Committee: Scrutinises the spending, administration and policy of the Department for International Trade, and other associated public bodies. It is appointed by the House of Commons, and currently chaired by Angus Brendan MacNeil MP (Scottish National Party).

Liaison Committee: Considers the overall work of select committees, promotes effective scrutiny of Government and chooses committee reports for debates.

Joanna Cherry: SNP

Liaison Committee: Considers the overall work of select committees, promotes effective scrutiny of Government and chooses committee reports for debates.

Pete Wishart: Shadow Cabinet, Leader of the House of Commons

Liaison Committee: Considers the overall work of select committees, promotes effective scrutiny of Government and chooses committee reports for debates.

Members Estimate Committee: Provides oversight of the House of Commons Members Estimate.

Stewart Hosie: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Constitution), and Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Cabinet Office).

National Security Bill.

Anne McLaughlin: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control), and Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Justice)

Nationality and Borders Bill.

Public Order Bill.

David Linden: SNP

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill

Owen Thomson: SNP Cabinet, Chief Whip

Procedure Committee: Considers the practice and procedure of the House in the conduct of its public business.

Electoral Commission Committee: Work relates to the Electoral Commission and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).

Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill.

Least expensive Scottish MP

Chris Stephens: Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)

Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill.

Work and Pensions Committee: looks into the policies and spending of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Martin-Docherty-Hughes: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Industries of the Future and Blockchain Technologies), Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member), Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (PPS to the Westminster Leader), and Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Defence Team Member)

Carole Monaghan: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Education), and Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Armed Forces and Veterans)

Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill.

Science and Technology Committee: Exists to ensure that Government policies and decision-making are based on solid scientific evidence and advice.

Stephen Flynn: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Professional Qualifications Bill.

Subsidy Control Bill.

Ronnie Cowan: Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson (Infrastructure)

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee: Examines constitutional issues, the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments; and the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

Alison Thewlis: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Treasury)

Treasury Committee: Examines the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, HM Revenue & Customs, and associated public bodies, including the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Treasury Sub-Committee on Financial Services Regulations: Scrutinises newly proposed draft financial services regulations.

Patrick Grady: Was Chief Whip, presently Independent

Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art: advises on the use and management of the Parliamentary Art Collection in the House of Commons.

Gavin Newlands: Shadow Cabinet, Spokesperson (Transport)

Transport Committee: Scrutinises the Department for Transport.

Anum Qaisar: SNP

Women and Equalities Committee: Examines the work of the Government Equalities Office (GEO). It holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross Government activity on equalities. Also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

2 replies on “A sign should be posted above Blackford’s Westminster office door reading “abandon all thoughts of fighting for independence – Just join a few committee’s the perks are great””

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