Northampton's South's Andrew Lewer responds to 'bottom 20' ranking in list of UK's MPs

A Northampton MP who was ranked in the bottom 20 on a list of "what makes a good MP" says his low score is not down to his performance but because he didn't respond to the survey.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:48 am
Andrew Lewer has responded to an index that listed him in the "bottom 20" of MPs in the UK based on their statistical performance.

Andrew Lewer was re-elected as the Conservative MP for Northampton South at Thursday night's General Election, where he won by more than 4,600 votes and increased his majority over the 2017 result by more than 3,400.

But ahead of the dramatic election, Change.org released its "People-Power Index" that ranks MPs based on their statistical performance - in which Mr Lewer came 15th from the bottom out of 650 UK MPs.

The index is created by Change.org using data from Hansard and other official websites to rank MPs based on their availability to constituents, participation in Parliament and for listening to the public.

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The list ranked Mr Lewer in the bottom three per cent at rank 635 out of 650. For comparison, Northampton North's MP Michael Ellis placed 223.

In his victory speech, Mr Lewer said: "I try my best to work hard for this constituency and it's often said that just getting on with it is important to me and that's what I want to do."

After he was re-elected on Friday morning, Mr Lewer told the Chronicle and Echo he was aware of the ranking and that his score was largely because he 'didn't respond to the surveys' by Change.org.

He told the Chron: "We are often presented with all sorts of surveys and indices and so on and when we've got a lot of casework and people to deal with that often takes priority. There are a lot of these things.

"The only indices I'm interested in is voters telling me they're able to get hold of me... The verdict isn't through a website or a survey, but it's through the ballot box and I think the Northampton South people have given me a very clear signal of their satisfaction with my work.

"There's always better; there's always ways of communicating with people more."

The index shows Mr Lewer only responded to 53 of 196 letters and emails sent to him through the MP mailing service WriteToThem, a result of 27 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Northampton South MP had a noticeably-high 95 per cent attendance record for Parliament - but Hansard reported Northampton South has only been mentioned once since the election in 2017.

And, across 149 petitions he started, he gathered 199,502 signatures from his constituents.

Meanwhile, Mr Lewer's website does not list a Northampton constituency office address or a Northampton telephone number. The index lists that he does not hold surgeries or employ a case worker.