Senior MP condemns ‘confrontational approach’ of Margaret Hodge
James Arbuthnot, a Conservative MP, made his comments at the Royal United Services Institute yesterday
Monday 14 July 2014
A respected former chair of the Commons Defence Select Committee has condemned Margaret Hodge’s high-profile leadership of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), claiming that her “confrontational approach” is “counter-productive” and results in “an environment of intimidation, fear and disrespect which tends to diminish the standing of public servants and politicians”.
James Arbuthnot, a Conservative MP who chaired the committee for almost a decade before stepping down earlier this year, made his comments at the Royal United Services Institute yesterday.
In her four years as chair of the PAC, Ms Hodge has presided over a series of stormy evidence sessions during which the former Labour minister has made personal attacks on a succession of government officials and business leaders. In November 2011, for example, she accused HMRC lawyer Anthony Inglese of being “evasive” before forcing him to give evidence under oath.
A PAC spokesman said: “We make no apologies for using robust questioning where necessary to get to the bottom of complex issues.”
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