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On the European Politics Forum
are always “Down the Pub” – worst attendance at EU Parliament
An analysis of participation conducted by VoteWatch Europe on behalf of The Times
has found that the UK Independence Party has the worst attendance record in the European Parliament, with the party’s
MEPs participating in only six out of ten votes in the main chamber from 2009 to 2014.
The figures show that, of
all parties with at least three MEPs, Ukip has the worst voting record, with an average of 61.1 per cent. On an individual
basis, Godfrey Bloom, NI MEP, had the worst record of all 764 MEPs, although his voting average of 23.11 per cent is partly
attributable to absences for cancer treatment in 2012. Fiona Hall, ALDE MEP, said: “There
is no doubt about it, Ukip MEPs offer the worst possible value for money for their constituents.
Time and again
they fail to turn up for crucial votes that benefit British citizens, whether it is research funding for our leading universities,
slashing roaming charges for holidaymakers or ending wasteful overfishing in our seas.” Syed Kamall, ECR MEP, added:
“Attendance in Brussels and Strasbourg is one measure of how hard an MEP works, but a huge amount of work is also done
in committees and other meetings. So many times when we have needed Ukip to help us stand up for British interests, we have
found an empty chair.” Party leader Nigel Farage, EFD MEP, and deputy leader Paul Nuttall, EFD MEP, also performed badly,
with both appearing among the six worst participants in the list of all MEPs.
The UK Independence Party has also
suffered from a number of defections, with five of the party’s original 13 MEPs having since been sacked, resigned or
lost the whip.