Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Who are Your Top 5 & Bottom 5 MPs?

In today's Daily Telegraph Andrew Gimson names his five best and five worst MPs. His five best are Sir Peter Tapsell (C, Louth and Horncastle), Gwyneth Dunwoody (Lab, Crewe and Nantwich), Frank Field (Lab, Birkenhead), Kate Hoey (Lab, Vauxhall) and Douglas Hogg (C, Sleaford and North Hykeham). And his five worst are Chris Bryant (Lab, Rhondda) and Sion Simon (Lab, Birmingham Erdington), Ruth Kelly (Lab, Bolton West), Alan Williams (Lab, Swansea West) and Ian Liddell-Grainger (C, Bridgwater). This is his criteria he judged them by...

One quality which sets these MPs apart is a certain
independence of mind. They have the cussedness, or integrity, to say what they
think. None of them has reached the top of the greasy pole, and none of them
gives the lamentable impression that achieving high office is all that matters
in politics. They are constant in their attendance in the Chamber, and are
deeply and unshakeably attached to our ancient liberties. To choose the five
worst MPs is even more invidious. The worst of all may be quite unknown: not
that total inactivity is necessarily a bad thing. It is sad to see so many of
our younger MPs running around, quite unable to distinguish between worthwhile
and useless activity. But sycophancy is one of the characteristic faults of the
Commons: a shameless willingness to back the Government quite regardless of what
it is doing.

I'll fill in my own Top and Bottom 5s (using the Andrew Gimson criteria) during the course of the day below, but in the meantime, feel free to post your own nominations and reasons...

Peter Kilfoyle (Labour)
Gwynneth Dunwoody (Labour)
Chris Bryant (Labour)
(such a shame Jenny Tonge isn't still an MP - she'd have won this hands down)


Anonymous said...

Please include Yvette Cooper among the worst. For me.

Anonymous said...

Your site is running as slow as treacle today. It's taking about a minute to load up a page and I'm on a fast broadband line. Is it because you are posting so much?

Anonymous said...

Well I'm far too busy this morning (arranging for Colin my housekeeper to de-worm the cat) to do the research myself, but the criteria for bottom five MPs can't be difficult, surely.

Just count the number of EDMs that each Member has signed - the most incontinent signatories will give you a good start in compiling the list of shame.

Anonymous said...

Certainly agree with Gwyneth Dunwoody and Peter Tapsell. But my top MP would have to be Edward Leigh.

The way he exposes inefficiency and hypocrisy during his grillings of ministers on the Public Accounts Committee is what Parliament is all about.

As for the worst, tricky, as there is much competition. But Andy Burnham for his disgustingly slimy brown nosing over ID cards and the selling out of our ancestral rights has to do it for me.

Big Ben said...

Look no further than Charles Walker MP - top lad.

Anonymous said...

Surely 'these are his criteria' ?

Anonymous said...

I've always had a soft spot for Tony Wright. Norman Baker's pretty hard-working and independent-minded.

Splashitallover said...

Top Five:

Tom Watson
Jeremy Corbyn
Derek Conway
Dominic Grieve
Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Bottom Five:

Margaret Hodge
Diane Abbott
Bernard Jenkin
Chris Bryant
Charles Kennedy

Based on a number of factors - political 'style', impact, ability to think and act for themselves, sense of humour (or lack of), intelligence, integrity - and what they're like when one meets and talks to them. Wit wins points, rudeness and self-importance loses them - and Kennedy gets the wooden spoon for his appalling spech to Lib Dem conference this year.

And I'm not a Tory.

Anonymous said...

Iain, your system is running slow as treacle today.

This is because I have a crap system and am on the wrong browser, and I signed up for the crappiest 'free' broadband service I could find.

But I am going to blame you for it, because that is easier than admitting that I might be the source of the problem.

Still sure you want to be an MP and have to solve the problems of the great unwashed, even though most of them are nothing to do with you ?

Anonymous said...

Firstly the combination of the words
"My bottom" and "Chris Bryant" was a poor decision.
Secondly the top MP has to be Michael Fabricant just for having the audacity to face the world every morning in that ludicrous syrup.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mickey Fabricant should be in with a shout, if only for wanting to protect email communication from the kind of snooping now being planned for all phone calls.

Anonymous said...

Sion Simon. Not just for 'that' video or 'that' haircut, but also for being an incepid little twerp who has swallowed all of his own spin and can no longer seperate reality from fiction.

Anonymous said...

"They are constant in their attendance in the Chamber"

certainly it doesn't apply to Kate Hoey...she's one of the worst Labour backbenchers in terms of attendance.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jenny Tonge is a disgrace. She thinks she's 'independent' but actually she's just a tw*t.

My bottom 5 are:

Chris Bryant
Ben Bradshaw
Diane Abbott
Geoff Hoon
Boris Johnson

And a special mention for the Sinn Fein M.P.'s who have the arrogance to not even turn up.

This competition is of course a perfect reply to the 'M.P.'s should be paid £100k' argument.

David said...

He's nowhere close to being my MP, so I can't vouch for how well he serves his constituents, but the worst for me would have to be Jim Murphy. He's obsequious, slimy and arrogant, and has that unfortunate New Labour trait of thinking he always knows better than us.

Anonymous said...


Diane Abbott
Dawn Primarolo
Chris Bryant
Kate Hoey
Sion Simon

Anne Widdecombe
John Bercow


Anonymous said...

Top 5: Sir Malcolm Riftkind, David Amess, Maria Miller, Nick Clegg and Ann Clwyd.

Bottom five:

James Duddridge, Margaret Hodge, Lady Hermon, Lynne Featherstone and Claire Short.

Jason said...

Surely George Galloway deserves a place in the bottom 5 MPs of all time for so many reasons?

Anonymous said...

Top - Bob Marshall Andrews

Bottom - Sion Simons

esquared said...

Top 5:

Bob Marshall Andrews - Great civil libertarian, and amazing debating skills.

John Bercow - His speech in favour of gay adoption in defiance of IDS's official stance is still memorable.

Ann Widdecombe - Watch the last HIGNFY to see why.

Dennis Skinner - Hardly ever agree with him but great Parliamentarian and very amusing.

Vince Cable - Manages to give the Lib Dems some credibility when it comes to economic policy. They'd be finished as a party without him.

(From a Tory trying to get a cross section of the parties).

Neil Craig said...

Sham Tam Dalyell is gone.

Angus McNeill SNP (cash for peerages & a few other sensible remarks)

Gerry Adams

baranacle_bill said...

I vote with bryan appleyard for Yvette Cooper in the bottom five.
As my local MP she is a shining example of all that is wrong with NuLabor.
I do suspect that either she or a researcher reads these blogs. I've just had two replies to letters I wrote earlier in the year arrive within a couple days of each other, after I had a dig at her recently online!

Anonymous said...

John Bercow is top

Rigger Mortice said...

Blears has done wll

Anonymous said...

My Top 5 are:

1. David Cameron
2. George Osborne
3. William Hague
4. Mark Simmonds
5. Francis Maude.

My Bottom 5 are:

1. John Prescott
2. Tony Blair
3. George Galloway
4. Gillian Merron
5. Tessa Jowell

Matthew Sinclair said...

Sheerman punched another member for not voting the party line and then came out with this moment of brilliance:


Surely a candidate for bottom five.

Anonymous said...

Patricia Hewitt - for being the most patronising person in the world.

Bernard Jenkin - for epitomising all that is bad in the Tory Party (Jeffery Van Orden MEP would get this vote if elected to Westminster)

Hazel Blears - for being ghastly

Norman Baker - for epitomising all that is bad in the Lib Dem Party (sandals, bad breath and a personality less exciting than daytime TV)

George Galloway - for making my skin crawl and his glow orange


Kate Hoey and Gunboat Gwynneth Dunwoody - for sticking firm and not let letting themselves be bullied by the Labour Party

Ken Clarke - for being a bloody good bloke

John Prescott - for giving the very lowest of the peasant underclass inspiration and showing them that anything’s possible

Richard Taylor - for being as mad as a box of frogs

Sabretache said...

Peter Kilfoyle your top man????.

Like many of his kind, any effort at open mindedness on controversial issues is totally vitiated by 'Old Labour' class-war orthodoxy. The man can't even attend to his correspondence when its content is 'awkward'.

See here for an example exchange of correspondence with him:

Anonymous said...

If it is integrity, independence of beliefs the criteria, and not reaching high office

Surely Patrick McLoughlin, a former miner, who became a Tory MP is pretty impressive, for both integrity and independence of beliefs and has taken twenty years to join the shadow cabinet!

Anonymous said...

Richard Bacon, top. Nick Clegg, bottom.

Inamicus said...

Blunkett has to finish bottom of the list. Yvette Cooper is actually pretty good.

Also down the bottom end: Julian Lewis, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Chris Bryant, Margaret Hodge

Thersites said...

Isn't it ironic that the government we love to hate has some of the MPs we really admire? Dunwoody FTW.

Andrea said...

Top: Alan Simpson, Lynne Jones, Alan Duncan, Evan Harris, Katy Clark

Bottom: Mark Hendrick, Margharet Hodge, Simon Hughes, Ann Clwyd, Kitty Ussher.

dr random said...

You could of course take a short cut and just look at who never disagrees with St Tony...


Interestingly, Ann Widdecombe is the Conservative highest up the list, which presumably just means she's got a mind of her own. Which is good...

Anonymous said...

Surely the bottom 5 /have/ to be

Gordon Brown
Tony Blair
Geoff Hoon
Des Brown
John Reid


btw. Shame you don't allow the C word as I'm having /great/ deal of trouble not using it after that list...

Serf said...

Surely George Galloway wins hands down, or has everyone forgotten that he is an MP.

Fib Dem said...

Too many choices in Blairs babes, it is unfair competition for the rest.

Here is one

+Blears, Hodge, Cooper, Kelly, Red Dawn etc...

f.r. said...

That fat bloke with a beard who speaks on every other subject for the lib dems.(top)

The Pirate said...

Top 5 - Edward Leigh, Peter Tapsell, Malcolm Rifkind, David Davis, Caroline Flint - my own criteria :)

Bottom 5 - Sarah Teather, Sarah Teather, Sarah Teather, Boris Johnson, Sarah Teather

Jim Maxton said...

Top Guns

1. Tony Wright
2. John Denham (I worry if I disagree with him)
3. John Bercow
4. Sion Simon - The webcam made me laugh. If he anoys you lot it sounds like he's doing ok
5. The late lamented Eric Forth (a delight to disagree with)

Tail end Charlies

1. Ben Bradshaw
2. George Galloway
3. Bob Marshall-Andrews - you would not actually let him run anything would you
4. Bernard "brainless" Jenkin.
Joint 5th All those Tory mp's who interupted Tony Blair during his reply to the Queen's speech. He just let them come in and then mercilessly shot them down one by one. Talk about no brains!

Anonymous said...

That pygmy from Cambridge who represents Beverley and Holderness fof the Tories. Graham (?) something...

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, how could I have forgotten Hazel Blears for the 'hall of shame'.

No one yet seems to have mentioned David Miliband ? If Bradshaw is bad, Miliband must be worse !

Anonymous said...

One of the worst has to be the lazy Shaun Woodward. It is rumoured that he is due to be promoted to the backbenches at the next opportunity, mostly due to his last minute cancelling of ministerial meetings.

Does anyone know how many meetings he has attended compared with his predecessor?

Odessa Calling said...

Remember the fragrent Helen Clark nee Brinton of lipstick fame.

She would make the bottom 5 if she was still an MP, but the burgesses of Peterborough woke up in 2005.

Chris said...

I take great offence at the boosting of that disgusting slimebag Tapsell, the Tory party's George Galloway. (See http://www.stephenpollard.net/002730.html) But then, the Telegraph is increasingly the paper for rightwing anti-Americans and antisemites these days. (I am rightwing, but neither of the other two.)

Anonymous said...

5 worst

Kate Hoey. The love-in above makes me puke. She's a lazy, self-serving egomaniac whose CLP regularly mutter but never do owt to get rid. Though this could change - watch this space.

Gwyneth Dunwoody is a thicko. Period. No brain, just a whiny hard-done by tone that makes me wretch.

Galloway - c'mon, even you lot can recognise a cretinous narcisist when you see one.

Younger-Ross. Dullard lush, widely mocked even among the pygmies of the Parliamentary LD Party.

Kilfoyle - Embittered, useless dope.

5 best

Bercow - for everything mentioned above. Why is he not on the front bench?

Hilary Benn - understands his brief, is good at what he does and a vegetarian to boot.

Gllian Merron - Mr Brooking, take note of how a minister with a week's experience had the Transport Select Cttee (despite the idiot chair) eating out of her hand.

Hugh Bayley - thoroughly decent if occasionally a little too academic.

Tony Blair - the master. Just ask the rt hon member for Whitney

Anonymous said...


Hoey - ghastly individual. Soon to be deselected
Dunwoody - thick
Younger-Ross - idiot lush
Galloway - say no more....
Kilfoyle - embittered fatman


Bercow - for everything mentioned above
Benn - So on top of his brief. And nice
Merron - Mr Brooking, if you had seen her charm and impress the Transport Select Committee (despite the eejit in the Chair) after she'd been a Minister for about a week, you'd have a different opinion
Bayley - intelligent and thoughtful
Cawsey - funny, bright and the pride of Lincolnshire

Croydonian said...

Wot, no Michael Martin?

Andrea said...

"Hoey - ghastly individual. Soon to be deselected"

Both the CLP chairman and the CLP secretary wrote to the Independent saying that their report about rumours of Hoey's deselection was not accurate and that she'll be reselected.

Anonymous said...

1. John Bercow
2. Sadiq Khan
3. Angus MacNeil
4. John Denham
4. Greg Clark
5. John Bercow
6. Jeremy Corbyn

1. Ruth Kelly
2. Sion Simon
3. Kitty Ussher
4. Patricia Hewitt
5. Hilary Armstrong

It truly wasn't deliberate, but I've realised that all my bottom five are women. Including number 2.

Anonymous said...

I only have one at the bottom of the shit heap, David cameron. This is because he has adopted the failed back to basics policy from John Major!

Anonymous said...

Agree with Peter Kilfoyle. Any idea why he really resigned from his ministerial post?

proud to be anonymous said...

Most of the 650 odd MPs must surely qualify for the title of Worst Ever. A handful of names which stand out in the general murk of sleaze, sexual dysfunction, financial skullduggery and general profound crappiness:

Boris (probably guilty of everything above but still incomparable, although needs to widen his apology base)

David Davis: Need you ask?

Gwyneth Dunwoody: Now there's a fighter.

Denis Skinner: What a bastard (I say this with some admiration).

Kate Hoey: Integrity.

The Sinn Fein lot: Murderous hypocrites.

Chris Huhne: Slithy Tove.

It is unfair to talk about Blears, because she is a robotic simulacrum and not human at all.

Anonymous said...

Is there still room on the 'worst MP' bus for Peter Hain ? Especially as some eejits in Wales have voted him 'Welsh Politician of the Year' [sic].

And I always thought he was South African ? I can only put this down to the fact that his 'job-share' with Northern Ireland means he isn't in Wales long enough to do any damage.

Anonymous said...

I don't read The Telegraph, the combo of Simon Heffer and the latestest paedo-priest on page 3 is a no-no for me but I agree with Grimson in many ways, although the feeble Geoff "blood on my hands" Hoon has to be up there, if it wasn't for him, Straw and Blair it's quite possible that 100,000 Iraqis would be alive today...

Anonymous said...

Martin Salter (Reading West) is definitely in the worst 5 MPs.

He has a shameless willingness to back the Government quite regardless of what he has publicly vowed previously.

He also seems to not know the boundaries of his own constituency.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Hoey appears on both sides and probably what is said on both sides is mostly true. As a constituent who knows her, but a Conservative Party member, I would comment:
1. She is a hopeless correspondent, loses letters, often fails to reply even to friendly letters etc.
2. She is personally charming and particularly friendly to known Conservatives, mostly on the grounds that they are (a) not members of her no doubt mostly obnoxious CLP; (b) not Lib Dems; and (c) people who agree with her on most issues.
3. She is undoubtedly independent minded and explicitly stood on a pro civil liberties personal manifesto at the last General Election.
4. If she was ever de-selected, she would be welcomed with open arms by the Tory Party. More likely, if she stood as an independent in Vauxhall Labour would lose the seat. And they know it.
5. If the Tories have any sense they will already be keeping a winnable seat vacant for her so she can defect about three months before the next election. If the Tory Whips do not already have a plan for this they are even bigger fools that I thought.

Other top MPs: Richard Bacon - exposed more Govt mess than the whole of the Opposition Front Bench put together.

George Galloway for his 5am election interview with Paxman, if for nothing else. We need dissidents in this country.

Neil Hamilton for not being Mohamed al Fayed (sorry, forgot he was no longer an MP - but at least MaF never got British citizenship).

Sinn Fein
Second worst: the idiots who voted for Sinn Fein to get allowances etc despite never turning up.

Better than all of the above:
the remaining hereditaries in the House of Lords (and most of those chucked out in 1999 too, RIP)

Anonymous said...

Worst: Beverley Hughes (nasty piece of work), David Ruffley (a sicophant who wouldn't think twice of stabbing you in the back if he thought it'd get him anywhere).

Best: David Willetts (obviously v. clever but surprisingly gregarious and witty too).

raincoaster said...

I'm sorry, it's weak of me, but I simply can't get past the rich metaphorical potential of this post, particularly when you throw in bonus Tonge on the bottom.

Adam said...

Frank Field and William Hague are the business. Can't think of any Lib Dems - there all twats. Ming Campbell should be put in the stocks and have dirty nappies thrown at him.

Paul Linford said...

Anonymous 9.10, on why Kilfoyle resigned.

In essence, it was the action of a disappointed friend, a spurned lover even. Kilfoyle was the hammer of Militant in the 80s, the first MP to sign Blair's nomination papers in '94, and, for the first 18 months or so of the Government's life, the minister who went running round the Press Gallery pushing the Downing St line (a role later carried out by Fraser Kemp and Phil Woolas).

As such, he regarded himself as one of the archititects of New Labour and thought, with some justification, that he ought to be rewarded with the Chief Whip's job when Nick Brown was fired.

Instead Blair gave this job to the spectacularly useless Ann Taylor, and, like Ken and Barbara Follett, Kilfoyle came to realise he'd simply been used. Being the sort of personality he is, when he finally turned against Blair, he turned against him with all the fury of a woman scorned.

Well, that's my theory anyway...

J-Rizzle said...


-Caroline Flint (hell yeah)
-Hilary Benn (most competent Minister)
-Tony Blair (sorry, but he's an amazing Parliamentarian)
-John Grogan (will stick up for what he believes in and ifghts incredibly hard for Selby)
-William Hague (has never let his high ranking detract from working hard in his constituency


-Kate Hoey (witch)
-George Galloway (idiot)
-Alex Salmond (idiot)
-Sinn Fein MPs
-James Gray (complete lack of morality)

Anonymous said...


Janet Dean (Burton.

Knows nothing, says nothing, does nothing.

Total national press coverage (from Mathew Parris) 'sunk without trace'.

sbjme19 said...

top: Richard Bacon, Gordon Prentice, David Cameron, Kate Hoey, Frank Field.

Bottom: Sion Simon, Martin Salter,Jim Murphy, Philip Davies, Denis Skinner.

Anonymous said...


1. David Davies (Con)- Backbench noise-maker - always top fun to watch

2. Nigel Evans (Con) - another right-wing bruiser with flair

3. Ian Paisley (DUP) - if he talks, everyone shuts up. Powerful.

4. Ken Clarke (Con) - one of the last of the high kings.

5. Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Con) - for THAT speech on Iraq.


1. Hazel Blears (Lab) - poisonous dwarf and talentless politician.

2. Menzies Campbell (LibDem) - ineffectual old gent with no personality.

3. Simon Hughes(LibDem) - pompous, self-righteous hypocrite- absolute waste of flesh.

4. Peter Hain - (Lab) slimy backstabbing grease-monkey. Deeply unappealing.

5. Daniel Kawczynski(Con) - the stupidest man in politics. Period. Extremely irritating.

Anonymous said...

theresa may - ineffective
gerald caufman -reppelent

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget Caroline Flint.

I would tell you how crap she is, but Simon Hoggart has a better turn of phrase - 'egregious greaser'. Yup.