'FOREST MP TOP SPEAKER IN COMMONS'

Lymington Times – 29 March 2003

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis, has, once again, been one of the most active contributors during the parliamentary year.

Figures released by the House of Commons Library show that, out of more than 650 MPs, Dr Lewis was ranked third in the 2001–02 Session. He spoke or asked oral questions on no fewer than 182 occasions  during the year – with only Shadow Leader of the House, Eric Forth, and Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, exceeding this total with 194 and 239 contributions respectively.

As an Opposition Whip in 2001-2, Dr Lewis was able to speak from the back benches on a wide range of subjects, but he anticipates having to concentrate more narrowly on military issues as he was appointed a Shadow Defence Minister in November 2002.

"This is the second year in a row that I have been ranked near the top of the MPs' activity list at Westminster which the Library produces, and it does show that being an active local MP on issues such as campsites and Dibden Bay need not prevent one from playing a very active role in Parliament too,"

he said.