Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
I have two points in response to that rather poor intervention. First, as we have heard, TheyWorkForYou.com gives a very inaccurate representation of people's contributions to the work of Parliament. A speech is recorded with the same validity as an intervention. Many of us with relatively high postage bills are assiduous in our correspondence with Ministers when taking up issues on behalf of our constituents, and get a lot more information as a result of writing letters and presenting an argument than we ever will from a parliamentary question. One can do both, but TheyWorkForYou.com does not indicate in the slightest how assiduous a Member has been in corresponding with a Minister or a Department on a specific issue.
Secondly, if the hon. Gentleman thinks that one can drive a coach and horses through these rules, I remind him that they were drawn up on a unanimous basis by the Members Estimate Committee, with input from the right hon. Member for Maidenhead. Which part of them would he change?