In House of Commons ballot results announced today, Eltham’s newly re-elected MP Clive Efford finished last in his bid to be elected Chair of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee. The Chair of the Transport Select Committee has an important role to play in scrutinising the Government and would have allowed Mr Efford to fulfill his election pledge to defend train services in South East London (although the single destination consultation proposals are opposed by all parties in Eltham).
With only Labour MPs allowed to stand for the position of Chair of the Select Committee, Mr Efford was up against 4 other candidates, however, despite this limited field, he was knocked out in the first round, gaining only 60 votes compared to over 100 for three other candidates. The eventual winner was Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South.
The results come as a substantial blow for Mr Efford who based much of his campaign for Parliament this year on his ability to stand up for rail services in South East London. While it is likely Mr Efford will manage to gain a place on the Committee, the small number of votes suggest his influence will be limited and lobbying through active Councils like Bexley may be more a more effective way to prevent any possible danger of reduced train services from Falconwood, Eltham or Kidbrooke.
Without the position of Chair of the Transport Select Committee, it is likely that Conservatives like David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford will have more influence on the Government than Mr Efford. Mr Evenett has said “I strongly oppose the suggestion to reduce the number of terminals that can be reached from Bexley, and believe the services to Charing Cross and Victoria are essential.”