Committee to scrutinise draft Protection of Charities Bill

The former charities minister Nick Hurd has been appointed to a new joint committee of MPs and peers that will hear evidence on the draft Protection of Charities Bill, which will give tougher powers to the Charity Commission.

In October the government published the draft legislation, which proposes giving the regulator such powers as the ability to disqualify people it considers unfit from being a charity trustee and to force the closure of charities that are badly managed to the extent that they pose a threat to public trust in the sector.

A joint committee of MPs and peers, including Hurd and the Conservative peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, who oversaw the review of the Charities Act 2006, would scrutinise measures in the bill.

Other members include the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Barker and Bernard Jenkin, chair of the Commons Public Administration Select Committee, which last year published a report that said the Charities Act 2006 was "critically flawed" on the issue of public benefit.

The committee is this month expected to publish a call for evidence on measures in the bill.

It is also expected to hold some oral evidence sessions before producing a final report of recommendations for government on the draft bill by 28 February.

The group, made up of six members from each house, will meet for the first time on Tuesday 11 November when it will appoint a chair.

A full bill is not expected to have time to make its way through the legislative process before parliament is dissolved at the end of March ahead of the general election in May.

The full list of committee members are:

  • Nick Hurd, Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner
  • Bernard Jenkin, Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex
  • Emma Lewell-Buck, Labour MP for South Shields
  • Mark Menzies, Conservative MP for Fylde
  • Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central
  • Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North
  • Baroness Barker, Liberal Democrat
  • Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Conservative
  • Lord Hope of Craighead, Crossbench
  • Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe, Labour
  • Lord Watson of Invergowrie, Labour
  • Viscount Younger of Leckie, Conservative