The absence of MPs from debates is disgraceful

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From: David T Craggs, Tunstall, East Yorkshire.

I WONDER how many of your readers tuned in to the Parliamentary debate on the BAE Systems redundancy programme. I did, and I was appalled at the pathetically small number of MPs present at what to me was such an important issue for the whole of East Yorkshire.

Out of a total of 649 MPs I counted 11 on the Labour bench and 15 on the Coalition bench – a grand total of just 26. I noted that some MPs whose constituencies were little more than a stone’s throw away from the BAE factory were absent. Quite frankly, I found that disgraceful.

Of course, it didn’t surprise me. Tune into a House of Commons transmission where almost any issue is being debated on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday and you’ll find only a handful of MPs there. But on Wednesdays at Prime Minister’s Questions all make an appearance, not to contribute, for only a few do, but to be seen supporting their leader.

There was just one part about the debate I watched that went some way to regaining some of my otherwise rock bottom respect for our Parliamentary system – David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden, and Alan Johnson, MP for Hull West and Hessle, although at opposite ends of the political spectrum, spoke passionately with one voice on the issue, as did others who were present. Well done to all of them. To the absentees, I say shame on you.