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Bureau Recommends: Is Sir Stuart Bell MP doing his job?

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Stuart Bell MP - Steve Punter

A Middlesbrough MP has not held a constituency surgery for 14 years and did not answer the phone once despite 100 calls by reporters posing as constituents from a range of phone numbers, despite claiming nearly £83,000 for the cost of office staff.

According to Gazettelive.co.uk, Sir Stuart Bell, 73, who has been MP for Middlesbrough since 1983, does not hold regular meetings with his constituents or run an office in their town.

The Gazette reports that local constituents also complain that he frequently ignores letters, emails and phone calls.

The article says Sir Stuart claims he meets with constituents by appointment and is always contactable by telephone.

But the Gazette tested this by making 100 calls during office hours to Sir Stuart’s Westminster office and Middlesbrough home, yet no-one ever answered, the article states.

According to the Gazette he is paid an annual salary of £65,738 to serve as the town’s MP, and claimed £82,896 for staffing costs last year. Wife Lady Margaret was paid more than £35,000 to work as his office manager.

On Monday the Gazette also called the four other Teeside MPs — Tom Blenkinsop, Alex Cunningham, James Wharton and Ian Swales — each was answered by a member of staff at the first attempt.

Read the full report here.

The Bureau would love to hear from you, if you feel your MP is not working hard enough. Please contact us at: jamiethunder@tbij.com