House sessions

Robbo Robinson made this Freedom of Information request to House of Commons

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Dear House of Commons,

When the house sits (2010,2011,2012 and 2013)

a) how many times only less than a quarter of MP'S attend
b) how many times only 25% - 50% attend
c) how many times 50% - 75% attend
d) how many times do all attend

Yours faithfully,

Robbo Robinson

FOICOMMONS, House of Commons

Dear Mr Robinson
 
Freedom of Information Request F13-457
 
Thank you for your request for information as copied below.
 
You asked for information relating to the attendance of MPs in the House
of Commons since 2010.
 
The information you require is not held by the House of Commons. 
 
Members of Parliament are not obliged by parliamentary rules to attend the
House at any time. Political parties may make demands of their MPs, but
that is a matter for them. Therefore no records are kept of an MP's
attendance at Parliament; however you may be able to look at an MP's
voting records to ascertain their attendance in the chamber, although this
may give you a distorted picture of their attendance as they may be
present in the chamber and decide not to vote (abstentions are not
recorded in Hansard). Likewise, the transcript of debates in the House,
known as Hansard, records only those Members who speak.
 
You can scan Hansard to collect figures on the voting records of
particular MPs. Hansard is available on the parliament web site
[1]www.parliament.uk  by clicking on:
 
- Publications and records
- Commons Hansard
 
The direct link is:
[2]http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...
 
Hansard is normally available on the web site at 8.00 am on the next
working day. It is easiest to access material by date (and column number),
but if you do not know the date there is also a search engine.
Alternatively, the House of Commons Information Office can perform a
search for you using the parliamentary database.
 
Furthermore, you can also access Hansard by Member and view contributions
made by MPs during the current session, sorted by date or subject heading.
The direct link can be found below:
[3]http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...
 
For Select Committees, the members that attended are listed at the top of
the of each evidence session. Furthermore, each edition of the Sessional
Returns provides details of membership and the number of meetings
attended. The direct link to the Sessional Returns is as follows:
[4]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...
 
For public bill committees, the full membership of the committee is listed
and the Members who attended each particular sitting are asterisked.
 
Erskine May, the authority on parliamentary procedure states:
 
"On ordinary occasions the attendance of Members in Parliament is not
enforced by either House.
 
In the House of Lords the name of every Lord present during the sitting of
the House is taken down each day by the Clerks and entered in the
Journals. In the Commons ensuring attendance has become a function of
party machinery, and the Whips of the various parties make it their duty
to secure adequate representation for all important divisions. The Minutes
of Committees include attendance lists and these, together with the
publication of division lists and records of debate in the Official
Report, allow Members to demonstrate their regular attendance in
Parliament."
Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, p.47
 
Erskine May also mentions what action would be taken should a Member
refuse to attend a private bill committee:
 
"If the Committee of Selection is dissatisfied with a Member's excuse, it
will require him to serve upon a committee, when his attendance will
become obligatory, and if necessary may be enforced by the House."
Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, p.975
 
In addition, from the parliament home page you can access the text of
debates shortly after they have taken place via the 'Today in the Commons'
link which can be accessed at:
URL: [5]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...
 
There are unofficial sources of information available.  In particular,
"The Public Whip" provides a database of Members' voting records in
divisions using data extracted from the Hansard lists:
[6]http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/ .  This can be used to produce a record
for an individual Member.  Please note that the House of Commons is not
responsible for this website and cannot guarantee the validity of the
data. 
 
You may also like to read the Research Paper produced by the House of
Commons library which provides statistics concerning Parliamentary
Questions, Debate Contributions and Participation in Commons Divisions
(RP/03/32) covering the period from 13 June 2001 to 7 November 2002. 
Again, I would stress that as attendance records are not retained; this
document is to be used as a guide only and would recommend that you read
the introductory notes that are provided at the beginning of the paper.
You can access the paper from the website through the index. The direct
link is as follows:
 
[7]http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_p...
 
Finally, the parliament website also has a page on divisions which can be
accessed at:
[8]http://www.parliament.uk/useful/ul_divis...
 
I hope you find this information useful.
 
You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons.  Any such complaints should be addressed to: Freedom
of Information Officer, Department of HR and Change, House of Commons
London SW1 0AA or [9][House of Commons request email] . Please ensure that you
specify the nature of your complaint and any arguments or points that you
wish to make.
 
If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.  
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
Sarah Price | IRIS Support Officer
 

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Dear House of Commons,

Please can you check the links that have been given to me as the 1st one doesn't work.

Yours faithfully,

Robbo Robinson

Dear FOICOMMONS,

Sorry I wasn't looking for an internal review, just want the links to your response checking as the 1st one doesn't work.

Yours sincerely,

Robbo Robinson

FOICOMMONS, House of Commons

Dear Mr Robinson
 
Thank you for contacting us regarding the links in our response to you on
the 18th September 2013.
 
I apologise for any inconvenience caused to you by inaccessible links.
 
Please find below a revised version of our response.
We have updated the links which you should now be able to open.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Sarah Price | IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons
 
 
 
 
 
 
Freedom of Information Request F13-457
 
Thank you for your request for information as copied below.
 
The information you require is not held by the House of Commons.
 
Members of Parliament are not obliged by parliamentary rules to attend the
House at any time. Political parties may make demands of their MPs, but
that is a matter for them. Therefore no records are kept of an MP's
attendance at Parliament; however you may be able to look at an MP's
voting records to ascertain their attendance in the chamber, although this
may give you a distorted picture of their attendance as they may be
present in the chamber and decide not to vote (abstentions are not
recorded in Hansard). Likewise, the transcript of debates in the House,
known as Hansard, records only those Members who speak.
 
You can scan Hansard to collect figures on the voting records of
particular MPs. Hansard is available on the parliament web site
[1]www.parliament.uk by clicking on
•       Publications and records
•       Commons Hansard
 
The direct link is:
[2]http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...
 
Hansard is normally available on the web site at 8.00 am on the next
working day. It is easiest to access material by date (and column number),
but if you do not know the date there is also a search engine.
Alternatively, the House of Commons Information Office can perform a
search for you using the parliamentary database.
 
Furthermore, you can also access Hansard by Member and view contributions
made by MPs during the current session, sorted by date or subject heading.
The direct link can be found below:
[3]http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...
 
For Select Committees, the members that attended are listed at the top of
the of each evidence session. Furthermore, each edition of the Sessional
Returns provides details of membership and the number of meetings
attended.  The direct link to the Sessional Returns is as follows:
[4]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...
 
For public bill committees, the full membership of the committee is listed
and the Members who attended each particular sitting are asterisked.
Erskine May, the authority on parliamentary procedure states:
"On ordinary occasions the attendance of Members in Parliament is not
enforced by either House.
In the House of Lords the name of every Lord present during the sitting of
the House is taken down each day by the Clerks and entered in the
Journals. In the Commons ensuring attendance has become a function of
party machinery, and the Whips of the various parties make it their duty
to secure adequate representation for all important divisions. The Minutes
of Committees include attendance lists and these, together with the
publication of division lists and records of debate in the Official
Report, allow Members to demonstrate their regular attendance in
Parliament."
Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, p.47
 
Erskine May also mentions what action would be taken should a Member
refuse to attend a private bill committee:
"If the Committee of Selection is dissatisfied with a Member's excuse, it
will require him to serve upon a committee, when his attendance will
become obligatory, and if necessary may be enforced by the House."
Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, p.975
 
In addition, from the parliament home page you can access the text of
debates shortly after they have taken place via the "Today’s Commons
debates” link which can be accessed at
[5]http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...
 .
 
There are unofficial sources of information available. In particular, "the
Public Whip" provides a database of Members' voting records in divisions
using data extracted from the Hansard lists:
[6]http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/  . This can be used to produce a record
for an individual Member. Please note that the House of Commons is not
responsible for this website and cannot guarantee the validity of the
data.
 
You may also like to read the Research Paper produced by the House of
Commons library which provides statistics concerning Parliamentary
Questions, Debate Contributions and Participation in Commons Divisions
(RP/03/32) covering the period from 13 June 2001 to 7 November 2002.
Again, I would stress that as attendance records are not retained; this
document is to be used as a guide only and would recommend that you read
the introductory notes that are provided at the beginning of the paper.
You can access the paper from the website through the index. The direct
link is as follows:
[7]http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers...
 .
 
Finally, the parliament website also has a page on divisions which can be
accessed at: [8]http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/busin... .
 
I hope you find this information useful.
 
 
 
 
 

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