Is Glenda Jackson the laziest MP in London?
Labour MP Glenda Jackson has hit back at claims from a Lib Dem challenger that she isn’t doing her job
The actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson has been accused of being London's laziest MP by the Lib Dem who wants to take her Hampstead seat in the next election.
According to Parliamentary records, Jackson, a Labour MP since 1992, has spoken in House of Commons proceedings just 40 times in the last four-and-a-half years. In the same period, Jackson has voted on less than half of all occasions.
Jackson's poor Parliamentary performance has been highlighted by Liberal Democrat Ed Fordham, who will contest Jackson for north London's new Hampstead and Kilburn seat at the next General Election.
Writing on his website, Fordham asks whether Jackson, who made her name in films such as A Touch of Class and Mary, Queen of Scots is the laziest politician in the capital. "Ms Jackson's record shows that she simply isn't doing the job people expect of her. We need an MP who is active in the community and active in Parliament."
Fordham bases his criticism on the fact that Hansard, the official parliamentary record, shows Jackson speaking on only 40 occasions. By contrast, Lynne Featherstone - the Liberal Democrat MP for neighbouring Hornsey and Wood Green - crops up in the Hansard records 2,559 times while Frank Dobson, the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras, is mentioned 2,508 times.
Jackson defended her lack of action in the Commons in her local newspaper the Ham&High, saying: "I'm at my desk from 9.30am until Parliament completes sitting every day."
She added: "Constituency is the primary concern for me. On the occasions I've spoken over the last couple of years it's been in Westminster Hall on specific issues. The most recent one was about encouraging girls to apply to look at careers not normally presented to them."
Although Jackson, 73, may be keeping a low public profile these days, one of her most famous and controversial film is set to be remade by the BBC. Jackson won a best actress Oscar for her role in Ken Russell's 1969 adaptation of Women in Love, DH Lawrence's classic novel of sexual awakening.
The BBC adaptation will combine Women in Love with its prequel The Rainbow which Jackson also starred in. It is also expected to feature Women in Love's infamous naked wrestling scene - first filmed between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates.
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