Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

How MPs can miss the vote with impunity

In response to Mel Lucus (Write Back, March 19) I apologise for apparently side-stepping his challenge against the Rev William McCrea’s voting record.



The challenge against Mr Mc Crea is either misinformed or mis-information. At Westminster, the Government has a clear majority. This means that the result of most votes is not in doubt.

As a result, the practice of pairing exists whereby Government and Opposition MPs who can’t attend a vote, or who would prefer to be doing other work instead, pair off and don’t attend.

This means that instead of having all 660-odd MPs shuffling through division lobbies pointlessly, they can be in their constituencies or even in their offices doing actual productive work.

Mr McCrea’s voting record at 47% is not that noteworthy; Prime Minister Gordon Brown has only voted at 13% of votes, David Cameron 26%. Even Lady Sylvia Hermon has only voted 26% of the time, but this does not fairly represent the work she does.

DAVID CATHER

Belfast

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