The return of Parliament after conference season is always hectic as we get back to the business of holding the Conservative government to account. With austerity set to continue throughout the Parliament it is more important than ever to make sure that the government is making the right decisions in the way it spends taxpayers’ money. That’s why, when a place became available on the cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC), I put myself forward as one of Labour’s representatives. I’m pleased that following a ballot of all Labour MPs, I was elected onto the committee.

It will be a privilege to serve on this influential select committee. It is the oldest in the House of Commons, dating back to the days when William Gladstone was Chancellor in the early 1860s. It has a broad remit and is responsible for overseeing government expenditure, looking at how effectively public money is being spent and holding ministers to account. In recent years the profile of the committee has risen. You may have heard of the work it did during the last Parliament when it tackled tax evasion and avoidance.

It will certainly be an exciting new challenge to help make a real difference to the way in which public money is spent and services are run.

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