Belfast Telegraph

'Workaholic' Shannon tops list of MPs who contribute to debates

By Harriet Line

A DUP MP regarded as the most prolific Commons contributor has described himself as a "workaholic" who wants to support his colleagues.

Jim Shannon, who is well-known among Westminster watchers for his frequent interventions, contributed to 213 debates and question sessions in the House of Commons and Westminster Hall between the start of the current Parliament in June and Christmas, official figures show.

In the last six months he has spoken at all hours in the parliamentary day in debates ranging from school funding in North Northumberland and Cornwall's dark sky status, to job losses in Cardiff.

The MP for Strangford said: "I try to be friendly with everyone - it's just my nature to be like that - so if I have an MP who I would be supportive of, and some of the things that they're bringing forward, I will go and support them."

Mr Shannon is widely regarded as the MP who contributes the most in Parliament, making around double the number of interventions compared with other talkative politicians. Asked about MPs who do not contribute regularly in Parliament - notably his party's rivals Sinn Fein, who do not take their seats in Westminster- he said: "That's really not for me to say; people do things differently. I'm a workaholic, not everybody is.

"Other people do it a different way and that's entirely up to them."

A backbench colleague from the SNP described Mr Shannon as "well respected" and acknowledged his "hard work", adding: "It wouldn't be possible for everyone to do what he does but everyone knows to expect an intervention from Jim Shannon when they've got an adjournment debate.

"He's a personable guy and he gets on with a lot of folk on a cross-party basis, and he's very supportive of a lot of the all-party groups and so on."

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