Parliamentary select committees: who gives evidence?
Parliamentary select committees are an increasingly important part of the democratic process in the UK. Their impact has grown in recent years, as has their media profile. The latter is partly due to the appearance of high-profile witnesses as committee hearings. The calling of witnesses is, in fact, a vital part of a select committee’s role, as it allows MPs and peers to hold government ministers and officials to account, as well as gather evidence from experts and stakeholders outside government.
This new research from Democratic Audit’s Richard Berry and Sean Kippin explored who exactly gives evidence to select committees, based on analysis of the nearly 600 witnesses appearing in Parliament in a one-month period in late 2013. We considered the organisational affiliations of witnesses and the gender balance.