Political

Was Joseph Ormond Andrews an MP, and if so for how many days?

A few years back, the Liberal Democrat History Group’s committee had an extended debate via email a few months ago over the number of days for which David Lloyd George was an MP.

We’d set this as a quiz question before discovering that we didn’t all agree on the answer. Leap years weren’t the problem. It was the question of when should we start counting someone’s time as an MP from: the declaration of the result or on taking your seat?

The latter has a formal appeal to it as the starting point. But the former is in practice what we do. Those elected at a general election, for example, are called MPs straight from their election. We don’t call them MPs-elect or similar until they take their oath.

But here’s a tougher, and more fun, one.

Was Joseph Ormond Andrews (1872-1909) an MP and if so, for how many days?

Joseph Ormond Andrews won a by-election at Barkston Ash in October 1905, gaining the seat from the Tories. Parliament was not sitting at the time and he never got round to taking his seat in Parliament. At the 1906 election, the Conservatives regained Barkston Ash from Andrews, one of the few Unionist gains at that Liberal landslide election.

Is the answer to this one therefore “yes, and zero”?

4 responses to “Was Joseph Ormond Andrews an MP, and if so for how many days?”

  1. Yes, zero.

    Hence Nancy Astor generally being regarded as the first female MP, though she was not the first elected to Parliament.

    Also, Bobby Sands was not an MP.

    Presumably, Andrews intended to take his seat, which most Sinn Fein members did not, but he was nonetheless never an MP.

  2. Gerry Adams MP never took his seat in the House of Commons, but he is clearly on the House of Commons website as a member. 9 June 1983 – 9 April 1992 and 1 May 1997 – 26 January 2011. As the House of Commons recognises him as a member from when he was elected you have to take every member past and present with the same rule.

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