Sunday, 22 May 2016 05:45

SNP MPs dwarf predecessors record in Westminster

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Scottish National Party MPs are working significantly harder than their predecessors, speaking on average twice as often in the House of Commons than the MPs they replaced.
 
SNP MPs have spoken in an average of 48 sessions since being elected last May. That compares with an average of 24 addressed by their predecessors during their last year in office.


 
The SNP MPs also voted 50 per cent more often than former Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs.
 
The figures show that the SNP group of 54 each took part in an average of 168.5 votes in their first year at Westminster. That compares with their predecessors' average of 106.9 votes in their last year at the Commons.
 
SNP MPs who have contributed to the greatest number of sessions include Glasgow North MP Patrick Grady on 130, Ochil and South Perthshire MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh on 96, Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP Alan Brown, 84, and Philippa Whitford, Central Ayrshire MP who spoke in 80 sessions.
 
The numbers highlight some dramatic individual differences in the performance of the new MPs compared with the previous members, some of whom enjoyed high political profiles.
 
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke in seven sessions in the Commons Chamber between May 2014 and May 2015. The SNP's Roger Mullin, who took to the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat held by Brown until he stepped down in 2015, has spoken in 71 sessions in the past year.
 
Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss has contributed to debates 78 times. Her predecessor, Labour's Anas Sarwar, spoke in just 14 sessions in his last year at Westminster.
 
Kirsten Oswald, who unseated former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy in the 2015 general election, has spoken in 73 sessions in the past year. Murphy spoke in just six during his last year.  
 
An examination of individual MP's voting record reveals similar differences. Roger Mullin voted 185 times. His predecessor Gordon Brown voted 20 times.
 
Stuart McDonald, SNP MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, voted 180 times during his first year in office. His predecessor, Labour's Gregg McClymont voted 97 times during his last year.
 
Roger Mullin MP said the figures showed that the 2015 election result had ''reinvigorated Scotland's voice at Westminster''.
 
He added: ''Scotland voted overwhelmingly for the SNP at the general election and these figures show that we are living up to the faith placed in us as the party to stand up for Scotland at Westminster.'
 
"With the continued policy of harsh austerity being pursued by the Tory government, Scotland needs a visible and vocal opposition that will stand up and speak up for Scotland. And the SNP has been, and will continue to be, that effective opposition and voice for the people of Scotland."
 
Notes:
 
The figures are from the time-frames below from the State opening of Parliament:
 
Current SNP MPs record - 27th May 2015 -Present
Predecessor MP record -04/06/2014 - 27/05/2016
 
All statistics have been gathered through the Hansard online through individual member’s records. Within the time-frame highlighted, the figures are derived from the amount of times each MP has spoken in the Commons Chamber. It excludes counting interventions as spoken contributions - https://hansard.parliament.uk/.

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