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No, MPs didn’t work a three hour workday—and pretending otherwise is bad for democracy

We've all seen photos of a near-empty chamber used to imply MPs aren't doing their jobs properly. But that's not only unfair on our politicians—it gives the public the wrong idea about how democracy works

By Tara Jane O'Reilly  

The number of MPs actually in the Commons chamber isn't a straightforward indicator of what work they're doing. Photo: Prospect composite

Theresa May is still putting off the Queens Speech, the last division was over a month ago, and cross-party Brexit talks are still inclusive: it’d be easy to presume Parliament isn’t achieving much.

This week, one journalist tweeted “Just the three and a half hour day for MPs today” with a photo of a near-empty chamber as business in the House wrapped up on Monday, with another adding “The basic salary for…

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