MP Glenda Jackson faces 'lazy' slur
GLENDA Jackson has been accused by a rival of being the laziest MP in London. An investigation based on her Parliamentary record has revealed that the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate is mentioned just 40 times in the official Parliamentary record of
GLENDA Jackson has been accused by a rival of being the laziest MP in London.
An investigation based on her Parliamentary record has revealed that the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate is mentioned just 40 times in the official Parliamentary record of proceedings over the four and a half years since the last election.
Finchley and Golders Green MP Rudi Vis also scores in the bottom 10, with just 219 mentions, well below the average figure of 1,822.
The same survey also revealed that since 2005 she has voted on less than half of all occasions.
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In a move threatening to turn the scrap for the new Hampstead and Kilburn seat into a mud-slinging contest, Liberal Democrat candidate Ed Fordham has now asked whether Ms Jackson is the laziest politician in the capital.
He said: "I believe that people in the new constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn deserve an active champion - Ms Jackson's record shows that she simply isn't doing the job people expect of her. We need an MP who is active in the community and active in Parliament. I am personally deeply passionate about local issues and achieving results. It's frustrating that our Labour MP doesn't see the role in that way."
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The figures are based on the number of times MPs' names have appeared in Hansard, Parliament's official report of proceedings in the Commons.
By comparison with Ms Jackson's paltry 40 appearances, Hornsey and Wood Green's Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone crops up 2,559 times and Frank Dobson, the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras was mentioned 2,508 times.
Karen Buck, the Labour MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North is listed 1,814 times, Westminster's Conservative MP Mark Field 981 times.
When spoken to by the Ham&High this week, Miss Jackson defended her record, saying she is at Parliament every day and that the reason her name crops up so rarely in Hansard is that she prefers to raise questions on behalf of her constituents either directly with ministers or by letter.
She said her idea of work does not include sitting around on those green benches and waiting for an opportunity to say something. "I'm at my desk from 9.30am until Parliament completes sitting every day," she said.
"Constituency is the primary concern for me. On the occasions I've spoken over the last couple of years it's been in Westminster Hall on specific issues. The most recent one was about encouraging girls to apply to look at careers not normally presented to them."
She says the Hansard figures are not an accurate reflection of the amount of work an MP does and that Mr Fordham had obviously drawn his own conclusions.
On the issue of her low voting record, she said that on the occasions she did not vote she may have disagreed with the government or thought it was right to abstain.
Asked if she wanted to comment on Mr Fordham's record as a prospective MP, she said: "I'm not going to go down that route. I'm not going down to his level.