Rachael Maskell best MP three years running

People counting votes in an election hallKeighley election hall, where Robbie Moore won the Conservative majority.

York Central Labour MP solidifies her reputation as most active in their constituency

Data collected by Leeds Now ranked the 54 MPs of Yorkshire and Humber to show the MPs most engaged with their constituencies from 2018 to 2019.

Rachael Maskell, who worked for the NHS for 20 years before becoming a Labour MP in 2015, came out as the most active MP for the third year in a row.

Following the recent election, Maskell maintained York Central with a slightly reduced majority of 13,545.

Angela Smith and Jared O’Mara, who came last in the rankings, did not stand for reelection.

The full index table is available here.

Barry Sheerman came in second, also maintaining the seat he’s held for over 40 years in Huddersfield.

Martin Vickers was the most active Tory MP at third, gaining a substantial majority in Cleethorpes and keeping his seat.

Do voters care how active their MPs are?

The Conservative chief whip Julien Smith ranked low, along with other well-known politicians such as Labour’s Ed Miliband and Rachel Reeves.

This indicates the popularity of your MP isn’t reflective of how much time they can spend representing their constituency.

Commentators have claimed that one of the main reasons for the Conservative majority in the 2019 election was the Brexit factor.

However, Professor Thom Brookes from Durham Law School said: “I disagree with some analysts that Brexit was the main factor.

“Polling suggests concerns about the NHS or the economy played more heavily.

“And I further suspect that the appeal of ‘Get Brexit Done’ for many voters was to get done talking about Brexit to move onto other pressing matters.”

According to the data, the least active MP in their constituency was Angela Smith of Penistone and Stocksbridge, the only Liberal Democrat in Yorkshire and Humber.

Smith ranked lowest overall and lower than previous elections, in 2017 she ranked 40th and in 2018 she ranked 36th.

Smith had a turbulent year, starting out as a Labour candidate before moving to the Independent Party, who rebranded to Change UK, before moving to become a Liberal Democrat.

Smith did not stand in her current constituency during the 2019 general election, with her successor losing to the Conservative party in Penistone and Stocksbridge.

Jared O’Mara came second to last after also having a difficult year.

He was suspended from the Labour party and was the only MP to stand independently.

O’Mara did not stand for his constituency in Sheffield Hallam in the 2019 election after being urged to stand down due to a series of sexist and homophobic tweets that emerged during 2017.

Our exclusive data was gathered using publicly-available websites, like Public Whip, Theyworkforyou and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

The data collected was from November 2018 to November 2019.

The MPs were ranked in eight different categories:

  • Written Q&A’s; the number of official letters each MP are sending that hold government ministers to account
  • The number of times each MP has voted in Parliament
  • The number of times an MP spoke in Parliament
  • The number of times an MP has rebelled against their party whip, assuming the higher this number the more effectively the MP is representing their constituency
  • The amount each MP spent during the year, both overall and staffing costs specifically
  • The number of times an MP mentioned both Brexit and climate change during their Parliamentary talks
  • And arguably the most important, the number of times each MP mentioned the constituency they represent by name

Each MP was ranked on each category and put into a league table.

Out of the 54, the most active MP was at the top and the least at the bottom.

Factors such as hours spent in Parliament and responsiveness were not included, due to a lack of public data available.

Most active MPs in Yorkshire and Humber

MP RankingMember of ParliamentRole in ParliamentVoting RecordWritten Questions AnsweredPercentage of Vote RebellionsNumber of DebatesExpenses claimedConstituency MentionsBrexit MentionsClimate Change Mentions
1Rachel Maskell
MP York Central, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs85%962%162£21,923.23 200148
2Barry Sheerman
MP Huddersfield80%1470.5%240£39,099.83431812
3 Martin Vickers
MP Cleethorpes94%413.7%97£41,791.8331151
4Stephanie Peacock
MP Barnsley East80%2361.1%84£54,644.0720021
5Hillary Benn
MP Leeds Central, Chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee84%540.3%117£31,439.679562
5Paul Blomfield
MP Sheffield Central83%1750.5%67£46,484.7031254

These five MPs ranked highest, with Maskell and Peacock tied for mentioning their constituency in Parliament he most, at 200 times each over the course of 12 months.

Sheerman has the highest ranking for participation in Parliamentary debates at 240, with Benn bringing up Brexit the most times, at 56 times, and Blomfield coming in second at 25.

Some MPs that are not listed in the top five still have impressive statistics; Kevin Hollinrake has the highest voting record out of every MP, at 95%, despite being 21st in the index.

Stuart Andrew also rebelled the most times, at 9% while also being at number 50 on the list.

Richard Burgon has also been very active, asking a massive total of 512 questions throughout the year, despite being number 34.

This is 100 more than Jon Trickett, who came second in this category.

Least active MPs in Yorkshire and Humber

MP Ranking Member of Parliament Role in Parliament Voting Record Written Questions Answered Percentage of Vote Rebellions Number of Debates Expenses claimed Constituency Mentions Brexit Mentions Climate Change Mentions
1Angela Smith
MP Penistone and Stocksbridge, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for International Development71%420%37£69,24.24000
2Jared O’Mara
MP Sheffield Hallam22%60%0£26,259.77400
3Naseem Shah
MP Bradford East, Shadow Minister of State for Women and Equalities72%310%24£55,944.65620
4Fabian Hamilton
MP Leeds North East,
Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament
5Graham Stuart
MP Beverley and Holderness, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Trade90%00%14£45,305.780101

Naseem Shah, MP for Bradford East, won by a huge majority despite her low ranking.

Shah was sick in 2018, which may have affected her results.

House Work

MP Jason McCartney took back his seat in Colne Valley from Thelma Walker in the 2019 election.

In 2017 McCartney ranked 12th in our index, which is better than Walker’s standing at 20th from 2018 to 2019.

McCartney said: “By knocking on doors and talking to voters, I got a strong feeling I would be successful this time.

“I lost in the 2017 election, and had people coming up to me since then asking me to stand again and thanking me for the help me and the team gave them.

“This election has given another clear mandate that we need to get Brexit done.”

Brookes said: “It’s hugely important that MPs bring up climate change given the emergency situation we are in.

“But unfortunately, green issues were not the main topics concerning voters.

“What might have appealed better would be to connect climate change and the need for cross-border coordinated action could be enhanced or damaged by Brexit.”

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