Conservatives have been the least active of Wales’ MPs since the general election when it comes to speeches and questions, research by Nation.Cymru has found.
When the Tories won 14 Welsh seats in December, the party’s Senedd leader, Paul Davies, said it would “ensure that a positive voice for Wales is heard loud and clear in Parliament.”
But UK Parliament statistics show Welsh Tories have struggled to find their voice compared to MPs from Labour and Plaid Cymru.
During the first 100 days of the new Parliament, Tory MPs have made 20 spoken contributions each on average. That compares to an average of 29 for Labour MPs and an average of 23 for Plaid Cymru MPs.
James Davies, the Tory MP for the Vale of Clwyd, is the MP who has made the fewest spoken contributions in the Commons at just four. By contrast, Rhondda MP Chris Bryant has made the most with 87 since the newly elected Parliament sat for the first time on December 17.
The Tories’ comparatively low number of spoken contributions, which include speeches, questions and points of order, could be due to a higher number of new Welsh MPs.
Although two of the new intake, Fay Jones (Brecon and Radnorshire) and Virginie Crosbie (Ynys Môn), have among the highest contribution rates of Tory MPs at 35 and 29 respectively. And the total is raised by appearances at the dispatch box by Welsh Tory ministers Simon Hart and David TC Davies.
The Tories are also least active when it comes to submitting written questions to ministers, with an average of four questions per MP compared to an average of 19 for Labour MPs and 58 for Plaid Cymru MPs.
Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards has submitted the highest number of written questions with 107, ahead of Labour’s Jessica Morden (58) and Ruth Jones (48).
Hart and Davies cannot submit written questions to the government they are part. But Simon Baynes (Clwyd South) and Crosbie are two of three Welsh MPs not to have submitted a single written question.
Baynes also has the joint the second-lowest total of spoken contributions made with six and has participated in few votes than any of his Tory colleagues.
Labour’s outgoing and incoming shadow Wales Secretaries, Christina Rees and Nia Griffith, have also only made six spoken contributions. Rees has also submitted no written questions and participated in fewer votes than any other Welsh MP.
Participation in votes is the only measure on which Conservative MPs are more active, with an average of 35 votes per MP, compared to 29 for Labour MPs and 33 for Plaid Cymru MPs.
This is due to the fact Conservative MPs are whipped more regularly to ensure the government is not defeated.