Thursday, January 24, 2019


New supporters revealed as Aldous Bill is moved to Friday 8 March

A number of the most senior MPs in Parliament are now backing reform of retentions, according to leading engineering services bodies ECA and the BESA. Newly announced supporters of the Aldous Bill include 15 select committee chairs from the four largest political parties, namely:

  • Rt Hon Nicky Morgan - Chair, Treasury Committee
  • Rachel Reeves – Chair, BEIS Committee
  • Clive Betts - Chair, HCLG committee
  • Rt Hon Robert Halfon – Chair, Education Committee
  • Rt Hon Frank Field – Chair, Work and Pensions Committee
  • Rt Hon Yvette Cooper – Chair, Home Affairs Committee
  • Meg Hillier – Chair, Public Accounts Committee
  • Angus MacNeil - Chair, International Trade Committee
  • Rt Hon Norman Lamb - Chair, Science and Technology Committee
  • Stephen Twigg – Chair, International Development Committee
  • David T.C. Davies – Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee
  • Pete Wishart – Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee
  • Kate Green OBE – Chair, Standards Committee
  • Rt Hon Harriet Harman – Chair, Human Rights Committee
  • Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin – Chair, European Statutory Instruments Committee


ECA Deputy Director of Business Policy and Practice Rob Driscoll said:

“This level of support from the most senior politicians in the country highlights the significance of this issue, and importantly shows that there is a ready-made solution available. ECA and BESA will continue to work with Government to press for legislation on retentions.”


BESA Head of Legal and Commercial Debbie Petford commented:

“A year after the collapse of Carillion, its catastrophic impact is still being felt by many small companies all over the UK. We welcome this vast level of cross party support which highlights the continuing importance of a legislative solution to the issue of retentions.”


The 15 select committee chairs also make up a substantial portion of the Liaison Committee in Parliament, a powerful group tasked with holding the Prime Minister to account, and with the ability to recommend topics for debate in the House of Commons. Cross-party parliamentary support for retentions reform is now at over 270 MPs.


The Aldous Bill, named after Peter Aldous MP, aims to protect construction subcontractors by holding cash retentions in third party accounts. Cash retentions is money held back by larger contractors and clients in case defects arise on work undertaken, but the system is known to be widely abused.


The second reading of the Bill is now expected to be held on Friday 8 March 2019. Retentions reform is also supported by an industry coalition of around 85 trade associations and professional bodies.

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