UK ex-minister Harriett Baldwin elected to chair parliament Treasury committee

LONDON (Reuters) - British former junior finance minister Harriett Baldwin was elected chair of parliament's influential Treasury Committee on Wednesday, promising to hold the government and the Bank of England to account.

Baldwin, who worked for two decades at U.S. bank J.P Morgan before being elected to the House of Commons in 2010, succeeds Mel Stride, an ally of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who appointed him as work and pensions minister on Oct. 25.

Under British parliamentary rules, the position of committee chair was open only to Conservative lawmakers, but elected by members of parliament from all parties.

"With the Chancellor's Autumn Statement around the corner, interest rates on the rise and inflation well above target, the role of the Committee has never been more important," Baldwin said after becoming chair.

The committee holds regular hearings to oversee the work of Britain's finance ministry, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, as well has holding pre-appointment hearings for key BoE and FCA positions.

Baldwin served as a junior finance minister under Prime Minister David Cameron from May 2015 to July 2016, then in various junior defence, overseas aid and foreign affairs roles under Theresa May until 2019.

She campaigned for Britain to remain in the European Union in 2016, and did not have a government role under Boris Johnson, instead spending two years on the Treasury Committee.

Her closest challenger in the election to chair the committee was former cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, who ran against May for the governing Conservative Party leadership in 2016 and was later leader of the House of Commons under May and business secretary under Johnson.

(Reporting by David Milliken and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Bernadette Baum)