Lymington Times – 5 June 1999
Conservative New Forest MPs Desmond Swayne and Dr Julian Lewis have fared well in an analysis of time spent in the House of Commons. Figures released recently show the pair as the south's most active MPs in the chamber.
Overall, of 659 MPs, Mr Swayne was joint seventh in asking parliamentary questions that received oral answers in the Commons chamber. He had 28 questions answered from October 19th 1998 to April 29th this year. On the same table, Dr Lewis was placed joint 13th, having had 22 questions answered.
Among their Conservative colleagues, Mr Swayne was placed joint sixth and Dr Lewis joint 10th. Of the new Conservatives, they had the second and fourth most questions answered respectively.
Mr Swayne said it was important to table oral questions to ministers, as he was elected to hold the government to account. Dr Lewis said oral questions tested ministers and gave backbenchers a chance to make their point.
Where Commons Hansard Debate contributions were concerned for the same period, Mr Swayne was the fifth most active overall (including the Speaker) and Dr Lewis the 17th most active. Of Conservative MPs they were third and ninth respectively, and of the new Conservatives they were placed second and sixth respectively. Apart from maintaining a high profile inside the chamber, Mr Swayne (New Forest West) and Dr Lewis (New Forest East) are both busy elsewhere too.
Mr Swayne is a member of the Scottish Select Committee and various standing committees. Dr Lewis sits on the Welsh Select Committee and the Special Standing Committee on the Asylum and Immigration Bill.