Willis to take on skills role

November 9, 2007

Phil Willis MP is expected to be named this week as the first chairman of the new House of Commons Innovation, Universities and Skills Select Committee, The Times Higher has learnt.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough and former chairman of the now dissolved Science and Technology Select Committee, will lead the committee, which is expected to start work this week.

The committee is being established to mirror changes in Whitehall introduced by Gordon Brown in spring. Upon becoming Prime Minister, Mr Brown created the Department for Innovation Universities and Skills. He also created a Department for Children, Schools and Families, which will be scrutinised by another new committee.

The final report of the defunct Science and Technology Select Committee, published this week, says that science needed a separate select committee as "the only way to guarantee a permanent focus on science across government within the select committee system".

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