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The annual cost of Worcestershire’s six MPs tops £1.3 million

Worcestershire’s six Conservative MPs cost more than £1.3 million last year in salary, staffing and expenses costs.

The total cost for the six – Harriet Baldwin (West Worcs), Mark Garnier (Wyre Forest), Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcs), Sajid Javid (Bromsgrove), Karen Lumley (Redditch) and Robin Walker (Worcester) – was £1,381,066.

The most costly constituency MP for the year 2015-2016 was Wyre Forest’s Mark Garnier, whose total bill was £245,862. This was more than £30,000 higher than his colleagues Nigel Huddleston in Mid Worcs (£213,373) and Robin Walker in Worcester (£215,805).

Staffing costs were the biggest single sum per constituency, with all six MPs employing caseworkers and assistants to help them carry out constituency work and stay abreast of parliamentary issues.

Mark Garnier is the only one of them to employ a partner or spouse in his team – his wife Caroline is his office manager, earning a salary of £30-35,000, according to the Members’ declaration of interests.

Accommodation costs varied widely: the highest “second home” accommodation expenses bill was submitted by Wyre Forest’s Mark Garnier (£23,291).

The financial data comes from ipsa.co.uk, the parliamentary ombudsman which monitors and publicises information about MPs based on their expenses and payroll submissions.

An infographic below shows the costs broken down by MP. It does not include the exceptional one off costs incurred in Mid Worcs constituency when former MP Sir Peter Luff stood down and was replaced in May 2015 by Nigel Huddleston. However, it does add normal costs and salary incurred by Sir Peter during his term in office to those of Mr Huddleston to allow for fair comparison by constituency.

Also featured below is a breakdown of the recorded activity by MPs in the year 2015-2016, as featured on theyworkforyou.co.uk, a service monitoring MPs’ voting behaviour, number of answers received to written questions and number of times they speak in debates.

It shows that the most “talkative” MP was Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcs) who spoke in 60 parliamentary debates, closely followed by Robin Walker, who spoke up 50 times – that compares to Wyre Forest’s Mark Garnier, who made the lowest number of contributions (13).

Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch, received by far the highest number of responses to written questions – some 74 in total during the year – dramatically higher than her fellow non ministerial Worcestershire MPs. Ministerial MPs Baldwin and Javid score zero in this measure as ministers are exempt from submitting written questions.

Data also shows the percentage of parliamentary votes each MP took part in – ranging from a low of 79% (Javid, Lumley) to a high of 91% (Baldwin, Huddleston).

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