Jonathan Ashworth was the outstanding Shadow Cabinet performer for January, our new league table shows.
The Shadow Health Secretary was far more present in the media than his colleagues, in part thanks to the NHS winter crisis pushing his brief to the top of the agenda last month. Ashworth featured twice on the big political programmes, and was quoted in twice as many stories as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Peter Dowd, who was second.
Ashworth and Dowd are followed by Richard Burgon in third, whose remarkable 150 written questions to Government Minister in the month was bettered only by Jon Trickett with 167. These questions can be very effective phishing expeditions, often leading to government departments having to reveal new and occasionally embarrassing information.
Debbie Abrahams and Keir Starmer make up the best of the rest. However, despite gaining a reputation for his forensic scrutiny of the Government’s Brexit negotiations, contrasting well with the chaotic David Davis, we found Starmer has not tabled a written question since September 2016.
Valerie Vaz, Owen Smith, Kate Osamor, Lesley Laird, and Cristina Rees make up the bottom five, which is perhaps to be expected given their smaller briefs.
PQs: Written questions sent to Cabinet Ministers for answers
Speeches: Given in the Commons Chamber
Urgent Questions: Require the Cabinet Minister to come to the House on the day and give a response on an urgent matter
Points of order: Questioning the Speaker on whether the conduct of a Government MP was ‘in order’
Press releases: Sent out from the Party’s press office
Quotes: Comment included in national press articles
Articles: Written for newspapers or prominent news sites
Broadcast Appearances: On the major political programmes (Andrew Marr Show, Peston on Sunday, Ridge/Paterson on Sunday, Sunday Politics, Question Time)