Pagefield celebrates ‘most influential’ backbench MPs

Pagefield has compiled a list of 20 backbench MPs who, the agency says, are the most influential in the Houses of Parliament.

Pagefield has compiled a list of the 20 most influential backbench MPs in Parliament (pic credit: Getty)
Pagefield has compiled a list of the 20 most influential backbench MPs in Parliament (pic credit: Getty)

Pagefield's list celebrates a diverse range of MPs, from the governing and opposition parties, who have been involved in campaigns ranging from support for veterans to women’s rights.

In a foreword to its report ‘Backbenchers: The real powerbrokers?’, Pagefield chief executive Oli Foster said there was a “narrow focus” by the media on who is – or is not – influential, with the spotlight often on No. 10 and the Cabinet.

He added: “[Backbenchers] are oft-overlooked but have consistently worked away in the background, meeting with campaign groups, developing compelling arguments for their cause, and striking out on their own to make the case for policy change.

“We want to give recognition to those MPs who, through their own endeavours, are holding the Government to account and making a difference from the backbenches.”

Among those highlighted in the report are MPs from the Conservative Party, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party.

Here are six of those included in the list:

Bim Afolami

The 35-year-old Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden was first elected in 2017 and has a majority of nearly 7,000.

The report describes Afolami as “emblematic of the future of the Conservative Party” and part of its progressive wing.

A Brexit critic, Afolami abstained on a three-line Government Whip vote for ‘no deal’. He has sat on the powerful Public Accounts and Regulatory Reform Committees and is a voice for the ability of his party to deliver meritocracy in Britain.

Stella Creasy

The Labour MP for Walthamstow, with a 31,000 majority, is 44 and was first elected in 2010.

Issues affecting women form the key plank of Creasy’s activism. She has advocated for abortion rights in Northern Ireland, called for the recognition of misogyny as a hate crime, and threatened legal action against the Government over its failure to permit backbenchers from taking maternity leave.

A strong media personality and a relatable public figure, Creasy was once described by the ConservativeHome website as Labour’s most interesting MP.

Ben Bradley

The Conservative MP for Mansfield, 31, was first elected in 2017 and enjoys a 16,000 majority.

Bradley is the chair of the Blue Collar Conservatives and described as “one of the key parliamentarians” behind the Education Select Committee’s publication of a report on the disadvantages facing white working-class pupils.

Controversially, he is also leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, but the report says he has used the position to “champion devolution” for the East Midlands, as well as playing an important role in the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

Kim Leadbeater

The 45-year-old Labour MP was returned for Batley and Spen at a by-election in July with a slim majority of 323.

Kim Leadbeater is the sister of the late Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered by a far-right extremist shortly before the 2016 EU referendum.

Leadbeater spent the years since the tragedy as a local campaigner, aiming to unite the constituency, and she gained political momentum via her work with the Jo Cox Foundation and the More in Common volunteer group.

Despite her short time in Parliament, she is regarded as a rising star in the party and one to watch.

Dawn Butler

The 51-year-old Labour MP for Brent Central, with a 21,000 majority, was first elected in 2005, lost her seat in 2010, and then won again at the 2015 general election.

Dawn Butler was asked to leave the Commons chamber this year after she said the Prime Minister had “lied to the House and the country over and over again”.

She opposes the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent and defied former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s three-line whip to vote in favour of Article 50 in 2017, citing her constituency’s support to remain in the EU.

Johnny Mercer

The 40-year-old Conservative MP for Plymouth, Moor View, was first elected in 2015 and has a 13,000 majority.

A former captain in the army, Johnny Mercer served three tours in Afghanistan.

Upon entering Parliament, he gave an impassioned maiden speech in which he declared an unapologetic mission to improve the experience of veterans and end perceptions that their rehabilitation is the responsibility of the third sector.

He was a junior Defence minister but he left the Government over disagreements regarding the proposed Overseas Operations Bill.

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