Attendance statement

Votewatch

I heartily recommend that anyone with an interest in the European Union (even those who want the UK to leave the European Union) take a look at the website www.votewatch.eu. It is the only website which analyses every vote in the European Parliament, along with the activity of MEPs. You can see what your MEPs are doing for you, or in the case of some of my UKIP colleagues; what they’re not doing for you!

I must say that I am a little unhappy at the rigidity of how the European Parliament authorities recorded some of my attendance. Firstly, although I officially became an MEP on 8 March 2012, the letter did not reach the European Parliament until 14 March 2012. This meant that I was not able to present myself at the parliament to take my seat until 15 March 2012. The week of 12-15 March was a Strasbourg plenary (voting session), which I was ineligible to attend.However, rather unfairly I think, the Parliament authorities, while acknowledging that had I gone to Strasbourg I would not have been allowed to attend votes, record me as “absent” from that voting session and thus so do Votewatch.

The other problem I have had is that although I have attended almost all voting sessions, I did not declare my attendance for the first day of a week in Strasbourg (when there are no votes) for my first 6 months. This also knocked a lot of days of my attendance figures, in spite of my presence on all 4 days.

Despite requests to the Parliamentary authorities, who acknowledge these problems, they refuse to change the attendance record. Votewatch, understandably, will only use official parliament attendance records. This means that my attendance record at Votewatch is significantly lower than my actual attendance (67% last time I checked). I have in fact missed only 1 day of Strasbourg plenary session since I became an MEP.

I just wanted to let anyone who is interested know that my attendance has been, and always will be, very good, though through a few little Parliament quirks, it might not look that way for the first 6 months.

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