Government

Creagh elected EAC Chair

Creagh elected EAC ChairMary Creagh MP has been elected as the new Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), following the resignation of Huw Irranca-Davies.

Creagh, MP for Wakefield, beat three other Labour MPs – Geraint Davies, Chris Evens and Shadow Climate Change Secretary Barry Gardiner – in a vote to win the position yesterday (10 February).

Through an alternative vote system used to elect committee chairs, Creagh received 178 votes, while Gardiner received 99, Davies 94 and Evans 89. Creagh then won in the third round, securing 258 votes to Davies’s 159.

Creagh held the role of Shadow Environment Secretary from 2010 to 2013 and from November 2014 to September 2015 served as Shadow Secretary for International Development. Last year, she took part in the Labour leadership race but pulled out, calling for Labour to take a more progressive approach to business.

Pledges

Last month, Creagh’s predecessor Irranca-Davies stepped down from the role, having held it for just over six months, in order to run for the National Assembly for Wales. A nomination period ended on 8 February, at which point Creagh set out her election pledges.

She promised:

  • a clear focus on how the UK can swiftly move towards a low-carbon economy and export British know-how abroad;
  • to help government to create clear measurements for how the UK should apply the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals and COP21 commitments to tackle poverty, environmental degradation and climate change;
  • to work across government for a more sustainable, less resource-intensive economy; and
  • to be a strong facilitator and collaborator who will utilise the talents of the whole select committee membership.

Creagh also released a statement that said: ‘I am grateful to colleagues from across the political spectrum who have already offered support for my candidacy as Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee. I am a creative thinker and rigorous scrutineer whose passion for a greener government and a greener UK makes me ideally placed for this role.’

The EAC is responsible for scrutinising the performance of governmental and non-departmental public bodies against sustainable and environmental protection targets.

It has recently concluded an inquiry assessing the impact of the EU on UK environmental policy, for which a report is due in the coming weeks.

More information on the EAC can be found on the Parliament website.