Dawn Butler under fire for not turning up to Parliamentary committee meetings

The Times today carries an interesting piece about the very low attendance rate at select committee meetings from some MPs. Select committees, and their reports, can be very influential, and particularly for those MPs who are not ministers or in the top media starts of other parties, select committee work is often the most effective way to exercise influence on matters outside their constituency.

There’s missing a few for good reason, and then there’s missing a lot:

Dawn Butler, another Labour MP who was promoted from the back benches last October, attended only 15 of the 64 meetings of the Children, Schools and Families Committee. Her office blamed a ten-week absence from Parliament due to illness, saying that there were 19 occasions where either her health or a diary clash meant that she was unable to attend the committee.

Even if we go over board with generosity and assume all of those 19 were missed for health reasons, that would leave her attending only 15 out of the other 45 – just a third (and remember that this figure is on the high side, because health wasn’t the reason for all of those other 19).

As Liberal Democrat MP Phil Willis puts it in The Times:

Phil Willis, chairman of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee, is urging them to show greater commitment to committees: “I think it is the job of members to attend.”

It’s worth taking a look at the list of the worst attenders highlighted by The Times, if only to marvel at Nadine Dorries at her record of missing 98% of the meetings of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Silent Hunter 8th Apr '09 - 11:20am

    So remind me again – what exactly do MP’s actually DO to justify their pay and expenses if not ………er?………attend WORK!

    I could add – FFS!

  • Good point about Teather, she is virtually anonymous.

  • Dawn Butler spends most of her time glad-handing the movers and shakers, since that is the best way to get quick promotion in the Labour party, rather than by getting your head down and doing serious work. Teather is hardly perfect, but she is a way better prospect as MP than Butler.

  • Martin Kinsella 8th Apr '09 - 7:34pm

    So it boils down to the lesser of two evils. I cannot say, even being politcally partisan, I would want either as my MP.

  • Churm Rincewind 7th Apr '10 - 1:41pm

    I can’t understand posters who say that Sarah Teather is “anonymous” – I live in her constituency, and on a local level she is very high-profile indeed!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael BG 21st Sep - 1:43am
    Ross McLean, “Michael BG – you mean February 1974, not 1970”. Indeed I do mean February 1974. Mick Taylor, The Labour government formed in February...
  • User AvatarJohnMc 21st Sep - 12:21am
    Hmm ‘omni-fiasco’ not mini fiasco as auto-corrected above !
  • User AvatarJohnMc 21st Sep - 12:19am
    Why assume a past-it tv programme watched only by the politically active (and attended by partisans) is representative of the U.K.? Lots of quiet people,...
  • User AvatarSean Hagan 20th Sep - 11:16pm
    @Ross McLean - I do understand how representative parliamentary democracy operates, thanks, and (subject to the long overdue introduction of proportional representation) generally prefer that...
  • User AvatarRodney Watts 20th Sep - 11:11pm
    @ Nom de Plume & Mick Taylor First, may I gently point out that that the Guardian is quoting members of the Jewish labour Movement...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 20th Sep - 10:56pm
    David Allen: Strip aside the snide, snarky, sarcastic tone of your last comment and what we have is a completely defeatist attitude where we basically...
Thu 10th Oct 2019