Low profile in
Commons for firebrand 
MP Galloway

GEORGE Galloway has missed 87 per cent of all Commons votes during his first year as a Yorkshire MP and spoken in just seven debates, new figures show.

Bradford MP George Galloway.

On the first anniversary of the firebrand MP’s dramatic by-election victory in Bradford West, data compiled by Parliamentary monitoring services suggests Mr Galloway’s appearances in the House of Commons chamber have been relatively few and far between.

One neighbouring MP joked Mr Galloway was most notable “for the fact he’s never there”.

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Data published by the website theyworkforyou.com, based on the official Parliamentary records, said Mr Galloway has taken part in just 13 per cent of the votes over the past year. Most MPs average around 70 or 80 per cent. He has spoken in just seven debates – the average being around 30.

Mr Galloway last night declared the figures “fundamentally flawed” as they present only a partial picture of what an MP does.

His office said he has tabled dozens of motions, written letters to Ministers and dealt with a large amount of constituency work from his Bradford office.

But Alec Shelbrooke, the Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said: “George Galloway might have pulled the wool over the voters’ eyes last year, but they won’t make the same mistake again when they see he has not been representing their interests.

“I find it unbelievable. George is most notable in the Commons for the fact he’s never there.”

When Mr Galloway spoke in the House earlier this week he was forced to fend off jibes that he did not know where Bradford was.

On a previous occasion when his name was called by the Speaker, a number of MPs immediately shouted out ‘who?’ to emphasise the rarity of the occasion.

Mr Galloway does find time for his many media commitments.

His entry on the Register of Members’ Interests states he receives four-figure payments and flights from Al-Mayadeen TV “for presenting two television programmes per month” in Beirut.

He has also presented programmes in Venezuela and fronts two shows per week unpaid for the Iranian channel Press TV.

Mr Galloway said: “In Parliament you can only vote for the motion or the amendment, and I seldom agree with either.

“Cribbing your information from websites whose methodology is fundamentally flawed is hardly research, and is not the way of judging how hard an MP works.”

Comment: Page 12.