The DUP’s East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has responded to the latest attempt by some Parties to raise the issue of multiple mandates.Mr. Campbell said,
“Those who are struggling to create a market for themselves in the Northern Ireland political landscape are bereft of ideas if they believe that the issue of multiple mandates is a burning one in the minds of voters. People are concerned that their politicians help to sort out issues such as the credit crunch, affordable housing, economic matters and educational, health and sporting matters. The irony of any political party reading lessons on multiple mandates will not be lost on the wider community particularly when their own performance is now brought under scrutiny. This does however allow everyone to examine the track record of ‘single mandate’ members particularly in the light of some UUP elements trying to raise this in the context of Arlene Foster’s decision to run in the Fermanagh Council by-election caused by the unfortunate death of Joe Dodds.
The facts are beyond dispute and are freely available on independent websites which monitor the performances of all MP’s at Westminster. The members who have spoken most often at Westminster are ‘multi mandate’ MP’s. Compared to single mandate MP’s they are a considerable distance ahead. On voting at Westminster, those of us who have more than one mandate are again ahead of single mandate MP’s.
The tabling of Motions and obtaining of both adjournment and opposition day debates on the matters that the general public are concerned about show that those of us who have more than one mandate are very active, the same cannot be said of ‘single mandate MP’s’. Comparing the pre 2001 situation when the UUP single mandate MP’s were more numerous to the situation since shows the same trend.
It is also possible to ascertain the expenses of each MP. Again because of the economies of scale multi mandate MP’s on average spend less on staff than single mandate MP’s. The salary of an MLA who isn’t an MP is also three times greater than a ‘multi member’.
It is difficult to see what merit there is in advocating a system in the current economic plight that, if successful, would mean less effective MP’s costing more in salaries and expenses at a time when the general public are expected to suffer a more difficult financial climate.”