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Margaret Hodge new leader of watchdog

Ex-Labour minister Margaret Hodge has been handed one of the most powerful backbench jobs in the Commons after winning the election to chair Parliament's Government spending watchdog.

Ms Hodge, a former Children's Minister, will chair the influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after the first-ever secret ballot to decide which MPs will lead the 24 Commons select committees.

The PAC is set to play a major role as the coalition Government is forced to cut back spending to deal with Britain's £156bn deficit. It will also keep an eye on the degree to which promised efficiency savings are achieved by the coalition.

The Barking MP saw off competition from four Labour colleagues in securing the position, with the final result going down to the wire. Her victory came after she promised to conduct a major post-mortem of Labour spending.

Belfast Telegraph

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