The difficult birth of the parliamentary inquiry into Libor and banking standards continued today with a controversy over which members of the Treasury select committee have been appointed to it. To general surprise, Andrea Leadsom, one of the better questioners on the committee, has been left off. This is particularly odd given that she is a former banker with real knowledge of the industry. John Mann, the pugnacious Labour MP, has also not made the cut. He has responded by labelling the coming inquiry a ‘whitewash’.
What makes Leadsom’s omission particularly odd is that the Tory MP selected to join Tyrie on the inquiry is Mark Garnier, who is also a member of the 2010 intake. So, this is not a question of parliamentary seniority.
One boost to the standing of the inquiry, though, is confirmation that it will be able to have QCs question the witnesses for it. If this is combined with an impressive set of members from the Lords then that will help establish confidence in the inquiry; something that is rather lacking at the moment.