Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Have No Power to Veto Appointments, Says Balls

Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Have No Power to Veto Appointments, Says Balls

Article excerpt

Education Secretary Ed Balls has hit back at MPs who tried to block his choice of a children's commissioner, telling them they have no veto over major appointments.

Balls told the children, schools and families select committee that only in 'exceptional circumstances' could their objections lead to a preferred candidate being rejected.

In a hearing on October 21, committee chair Barry Sheerman pointed out that the hearings had been introduced earlier this year by Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a 'keystone of renewing our parliamentary powers'.

He asked: 'Are these hearings, that we had liigh hopes for, meaningful? Is it a bit of a charade and a sham?'

Balls recognised the committee's role to raise questions, but maintained that the right to judge whether they were sufficient grounds to overturn an appointment remained with him.

He said he had thought hard about their recommendations, but told the committee: 'What we don't have is a system where there's a veto. …

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