Iain Stewart chosen as new Transport Committee Chair

The Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart has been chosen to chair the important Transport Committee in the Commons.

He beat five other Conservative candidates to take the position with more than 400 MPs voting.

“I am delighted to have been entrusted by the House to Chair this vital Committee and thank all who supported me,” he said after winning the nomination.

“I have a real passion for, and experience in, Transport issues and I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues on the Committee to complete the existing programme of work and establish fresh inquiries.

“I want the Committee both to scrutinise and hold to account Government, agencies and operators, but also to do important horizon-scanning proactive work into future opportunities and challenges.”

The Committee’s remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Transport and its associated public bodies.

Read Mr Stewart’s pitch to MPs below:

Our transport sector has faced enormous challenges over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented shock; it grounded planes, and emptied roads and railways. The resulting global economic challenges have strained our supply chains and climate change commitments made at COP26 have forced industry leaders to hasten plans to reduce emissions. At the same time the UK’s transport network is still in real need of investment to improve connectivity between regional economic centres and help support the levelling up agenda.  

I am standing to be the next Chair of the Transport Select Committee because I believe that I have the right mix of interest, knowledge and experience of transport issues to bring a laser focus on what parliament can do to hold the government and the industry to account for its commitments and responses to the multifaceted challenges the future of transport faces.  

I believe my proven personnel skills and consensual leadership style will draw out the best from colleagues and enhance the reputation of the Committee inside and outside of Parliament. 

Effective Select Committees should, of course, fairly scrutinise and hold to account Government Departments, Agencies and operators; but they should also conduct forward-looking and constructive inquiries into future challenges and opportunities. As Chair I would want the Committee to have a good balance of both types of inquiry. 

Transport Knowledge & Experience 

I have had a keen interest in transport all my life and have made it the focus of much of my work in Parliament. This includes being: 

  • Member of Transport Select Committee for 6 years (2010-13 and 2015-18). I was involved in a wide range of inquiries, including: Heathrow Third Runway, HS2, Coastguard Modernisation, Buses, Electric Vehicles, Road Safety, Air Quality, Rail Technology, Diesel Car Emissions Scandal; 
  • Parliamentary Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Transport (Patrick McLoughlin) (2013-15); 
  • Government Whip for DfT (2019-2020); 
  • Holding the Transport Portfolio in Scotland Office while Minister for Scotland (2020-22); 
  • Commissioned by former MHCLG Secretary of State (Sajid Javid) to research and write a report on East-West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge Growth Arc (2018); and 
  • Gaining a Fellowship in Rail Transport with Industry & Parliament Trust. 

Leadership Experience & Style 

I am a skilled interviewer and experienced in drawing out key information from interviewees. This is from my professional career as an executive recruitment consultant and from a wide range of voluntary roles. 

I have experience in chairing a wide range of committees and organisations. I have a collegiate approach and style and would not make the Select Committee a partisan body. Throughout my political career I have respected those of other political persuasions and sought to find common ground. I would chair the Committee objectively and constructively.  

(Picture – Parliament website)


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