It is now a year since the resignation of Stephen Dorrell as Chair of the Commons Select Committee for Health. I was concerned to read then that one of the ‘primary contenders‘ as his replacement was (then) Committee member, David Tredinnick. Fortunately, he bombed in the ballot, accruing a mere nine votes and being eliminated at the first round of voting. (So, quite why it was he who sat in for the Chair on this occasion is questionable.)
The Select Committees are disbanded when Parliament is dissolved for the general election. Now, post-election, process is underway to establish the next incarnations of Committees, with voting on nominations for respective Chairs to take place on Wednesday 17th June.
Though not surprised that Tredinnick is making another bid to exert his perverse influence on government policy, I find alarming the list of his nominators:
Nominated by (own party)
Sir William Cash, Sir Gerald Howarth, Dr Poulter, Crispin Blunt, James Gray, John Howell, James Berry, Robert Neill, Alec Shelbrooke, Daniel Kawczynski, Mr Philip Hollobone, Philip Davies, Glyn Davies, Iain Stewart, Mr Peter Bone
Nominated by (other parties)
Grahame Morris, Hywel Williams, Jim Shannon
Fortunately, Huw Irranca-Davies, MP for Ogmore, has been persuaded to re-think and has withdrawn his nomination:
Much frowning is being provoked by the fact that one of Tredinnick’s nominators is Dr Dan Poulter, a(n unpaid) NHS hospital doctor. As Under-Secretary of State for Health in the previous parliament, he ‘entrusted’ Tredinnick with vice-chair of the ‘herbal working group’. In a National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill debate on 21 Nov’ 2014, he said:
‘… the [Health and Social Care] Act placed great importance on and sought to drive increased integration across our NHS, a point clearly articulated by my hon. Friend David Tredinnick.’
It is thus not unclear whether Tredinnick has a parliamentary CAM ally here. Though I wonder whether Poulter is clear on what Tredinnick wants to see integrated.
In my opinion, Mr Tredinnick’s continued advocacy of un-evidential complementary and alternative approaches renders him unsuitable for membership of the Select Committee for Health (and also the Science and Technology Committee, of which we might predict he will also re-seek membership). It would thus be increasingly detrimental were he to be appointed its Chair.