18 April 2009

The best and worst MP's

The Telegraph has a very interesting piece about the best and worst MPs around the county. 

To calculate the rankings, The Sunday Telegraph gave a value rating to each MP. To do this, we divided the amount of expenses claimed by each individual by the amount of work they did over the past year.

MPs earned work points for the proportion of Parliamentary votes they took part in, expressed in percentage points. They also gained one additional work point for every three debates they spoke in or 30 written questions they tabled.

For example, David Winnick, the Labour MP for Walsall North, attended 87 per cent of votes in the last Parliamentary year, giving him 87 points. He spoke in 55 debates and asked 58 written questions. 

His work rating is therefore 87 + (55 divided by 3) + (58 divided by 30) = 107.3. His value rating is arrived at by dividing his total expenses by his work rating: £96,202 divided by 107.3 
a cost per unit of work; the lower the figure, the better the value.

Attendance: Percentage of Parliamentary divisions attended in 2007/8

Debates: Debates spoken in over the past year

Written questions: Number of Parliamentary questions answered over past year

Expenses: Total claimed for 2007/8

The Best
1. Philip Hollobone (Conservative, Kettering)
An Oxford-educated former investment banker who has also served as a paratrooper with the Territorial Army. First elected in 2005, he has earned a reputation for thrift, doing all his own paperwork instead of employing an assistant. He has a good record of attending Commons debates and asking questions. Value rating (cost per unit of work – a lower rating means better value): £376.

2. Dennis Skinner (Labour, Bolsover)
The "Beast of Bolsover" – nicknamed for his bruising debating style and left-wing views – has been an MP for 28 years. A former miner, once called "a marvellous politician" by his old adversary Margaret Thatcher, he is today a Commons fixture, regularly interjecting from his favourite seat on the front row below the gangway. His attendance rate – 97 per cent – is better than that of any other MP. Value rating: £603.

3. David Drew (Labour, Stroud)
A former teacher, he was swept into office during Labour's 1997 landslide victory. One of the more frequent rebels on the Government back benches, he voted against the Iraq war and has opposed terrorism legislation. A father-of-four and vegetarian of 25 years standing, he has bombarded ministers with 961 written questions over the past year - more than any other Labour MP. Value rating: £836.

The Worst
1. George Galloway (Respect, Bethnal Green and Bow)
An MP since 1987, he was expelled from the Labour party in 2003 for accusing Tony Blair and President Bush of acting "like wolves" in Iraq. Left his native Scotland at the 2005 general election to contest - and win - an east London seat with many Muslim voters under the banner of the far-left Respect party. Courted controversy by appearaning on Celebrity Big Brother, but his attendance rate in the Commons is far below that of any other MP.
Value rating: £21,201.

2. Clare Short (Independent Labour, Birmingham Ladywood)
Served in Tony Blair's Cabinet as International Development Secretary for six years, but lost credibilty with her left-wing allies in 2003 when she voted for the Iraq war then quit her job two months later in protest at Britain's handling of the post-Saddam reconstruction. Became a fierce critic of Mr Blair and resigned the Labour whip in 2006. Plans to retire at the next election. Value rating: £6,546

3. Derek Conway (Independent, Old Bexley & Sidcup)
A former major in the Territorial Army, he was expelled from the Conservative party last year after a scandal in which it emerged that he had employed his wife and two sons at public expense. They earned £260,000 between them yet there was little evidence as to how much work the sons had done, and some of the money had to be paid back. Has spoken in just one Commons debate in the past year. Value rating: £6,044.

Source: Hansard, theyworkforyou.com, publicwhip.org.uk

I had always suspected that George Galloway and Clare Short were the worst MP's in the country.

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