Hampshire MPs speak out on how often they debate in Parliament

Hampshire MPs have spoken out more than 200 times in parliamentary debates over the last year, The News can reveal.

Monday, 26th September 2016, 2:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:34 pm
Penny Mordaunt. Credit: Malcolm Wells

Our politicians have also played an active role in Westminster life by writing questions to ministers and voting on laws, according to political website They Work For You.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who has spoken 11 times in debates ranging from drones to the armed forces, said it was “important” to represent constituents by speaking out in the Commons.

The Minister of State for Work and Pensions said: ‘For people on the backbenches debates are the means of putting forward important issues.

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‘You have to use all opportunities at your disposal, I have sent a lot of private correspondence myself as that is what usually gets fuller answers.’

‘These websites are also very good for people to get an idea of what their MPs are interested in.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dineage has spoken in 23 debates over the last year, focusing on womens issues such as equality in the workplace, mental health and body confidence.

She said: ‘Speaking out in the House of Commons is one of the ways that MPs can effectively represent and champion their constituency.

‘While it certainly provides high-profile coverage, progress on key issue areas is often better pursued behind the scenes, via conversations with Ministers, meetings with key stakeholders and contributions to parliamentary inquiries.’

In March The News reported that Havant MP Alan Mak was one of the top 20 ‘most active’ new Conservative MPs since the election last year.

The website said over the last year he had taken part in 64 debates - including on international trade and tourism levels - and had received answers to three written questions.

He said: ‘In Westminster I place importance on taking part in debates as I want to be a strong voice for my constituency.

‘Luckily for me the national interests and Havant’s interests are often the same.’

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, a backbencher who has spoken in 56 debates over the last 12 months, said: ‘I think it is very important that I get involved in debates and a lot of that I like to do in speeches.’

Alongside its data the website warns users that because the data is numerical, it cannot also prove a reliable indicator of the quality of debate and questions.

It also points out that the figures do not take into account many of the activities MPs take part in outside the House of Commons, including private meetings, committee work and events in their constituency.