Departing MPs Tell Us About The Achievements They’re Most Proud OfJanuary 2, 2020
Today in Parliament, former MPs have been packing up their offices to make way for newly elected members who will take their seats for the first time on Tuesday.
Over the past few days, these ex-politicians have also been changing their Twitter bios and handles to reflect their new lives outside of Westminster.
BuzzFeed News spoke to some of these departing MPs to find out which achievements during their time in Parliament they are most proud of.
Jo Swinson, former Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire
“Policy-wise: shared parental leave, increased fines and naming and shaming employers who don’t pay minimum wage, gender pay gap reporting.
“Party-wise: biggest-ever increase in Lib Dem vote share at a [general election], highest-ever party membership, record fundraising and electing most diverse ever Lib Dem parliamentary party.”
Liz McInnes, former Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton
“Getting the government to agree to bring in life sentences for causing death by dangerous driving, following the death of my constituent, 25-year-old Joseph Brown-Lartey. I asked questions in [Prime Minister’s Questions], raised the issue in debates, and in 2017 [the] Government agreed that maximum sentence should be life, not 14 years.”
“Joseph’s killer got just six years, of which he served three and was out under licence after that. Joseph’s mum and dad are serving a life sentence of grief at the loss of their beloved son. They just don’t want others to suffer in the same way.”
James Frith, former Labour MP for Bury North
“Saving the [Bury] Walk-In Centre and [being] one of 6 leading MP’s that got Orkambi on the NHS for cystic fibrosis sufferers.”
Mike Gapes, former Independent Group for Change MP for Ilford South
“Being part of the Labour government team that negotiated the Good Friday agreement.”
Ruth Smeeth, former Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North
“The Holiday Hunger pilot scheme which fed 50,000 children this summer and the local version — ‘Ay up Duck’ which has fed over 30,000 children in the Potteries since 2017.
“And Operation Tempest, working with the Government to secure the R&D campaign for the next Fighter Jet to replace Typhoon — £1billion of investment securing 22,000 jobs.”
Jo Platt, former Labour MP for Leigh
“It’s been one of the greatest honours to represent the constituency of Leigh as their Member of Parliament. It goes without saying but to help those that are less fortunate in whatever way I could has been the most rewarding.
“I am also extremely proud that I set up the all party group on ADHD in Westminster and managed to gain commitments from Government, including the then prime minister, Theresa May, to commit to look at waiting times to encourage a better diagnosis and treatment experience for those with the condition.
“There is still so much more work to do in this area, and I hope to continue to push for change outside of Westminster.”
Graham Jones, former Labour MP for Hyndburn
“Being elected as Chair of the House of Commons Committee on Arms Exports Controls or helping lead the campaign to ban the crack cocaine of gambling Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.”
Caroline Flint, former Labour MP for Don Valley
“As a Public Health Minister probably smoke-free public places, which according to ‘experts’ was in the top 50 policies since World War II.
“From opposition back benches, [the] energy price cap. There’s a few more but they stand out.”
Luciana Berger, former Liberal Democrat MP for Liverpool Wavertree
“So many things … but most recently leading the cross-party [Recovery Space] campaign.” The successful campaign lobbied for the government’s Breathing Space debt respite scheme to include people in a mental health crisis.
“I also made [the Church House Declaration] happen.” The declaration said MPs would form an alternative Parliament if the House of Commons were shut down again.
Susan Elan Jones, former Labour MP for Clwyd South
“Co-chairing the All Party Parliamentary Group for Charities & Volunteering since 2012, because I think all parties need to pay more attention to the voices of charities and voluntary groups in formulating social policy.”