Labour MP Stephen Timms to chair work and pensions committee

Jenna Brown reports

Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham, has been named chairman of the parliamentary work and pensions committee.

Timms takes over from veteran Frank Field who lost his long-held Birkenhead seat at the last election.

All parliamentary committees, known as select committees, were dissolved when the general election was called and now being repopulated with members and chairs.

Timms said: “It’s a huge privilege to be elected chair. The committee has a great deal on its plate in this parliament.

“We will play a constructive role, particularly in ensuring – as MPs across the House intend – that out constituents experience of Universal Credit is taken fully into account as rollout proceeds.”

He is currently Labour’s acting shadow secretary of state for work and pensions and has previously served as pensions minister in the late 90s.

Quilter head of retirement policy Jon Greer said: “The work and pensions select committee has been an influential body known for its harsh line of questioning and ability to hold powerful organisations to account, including the regulators.

“Frank Field was a force to be reckoned with, but the baton has been passed and Stephen Timms is now taking the helm. These are big shoes to fill, but Stephen has extensive experience in government and the shadow cabinet and we are pleased he will be picking up the baton and leading the committee at such a critical time.”