TheyWorkForYou helps people keep tabs on their elected representatives. It provides a fully searchable and annotated online version of Hansard going back to the 1930s. A page for each elected representative shows voting records, recent appearances, and other data.
As a member of the press, you may use it to:
- Check exact wording of parliamentary debates
- Research the history of political issues
- Check up on individual MPs’ activities (but see the caveats below)
- Subscribe to alerts on topics that interest you
TheyWorkForYou is an independent website, built by the not-for-profit organisation mySociety, where people can keep track of their Parliamentary representatives. It was built because of statistics which showed that a very low percentage of people know who their MP is, or what they do. A visitor to the site is invited to enter his or her postcode, and will then be taken to a page which shows who their MP is, all their recent activity, and their voting record.
TheyWorkForYou also publishes the entire text of Hansard, in a more useful format than that put out by the UK Parliament. It is fully searchable and easily navigable. Each statement has its own permalink, and is accompanied by an image of the person speaking. All of these features make Hansard more accessible, and readable.
As well as searching for any word or phrase in Hansard records going back to the 1930s, it is possible to set up an alert so that you are emailed whenever your keyword is spoken – or when it appears in the calendar of upcoming debates. Users may also subscribe to any MP, receiving an email when they speak or are due to speak.
Note that mySociety do not keep league tables of MPs’ attendance, or produce rankings of how often they speak. Here’s why.
Like all mySociety sites, the code is open source and may be used or adapted for free. The DIY mySociety community was set up to support and advise people in countries around the world who have, or who wish to, set up sites like ours, including parliamentary monitoring websites. In 2012, mySociety worked on providing simple, easy-to-implement modules of software including one that will make it very easy to keep a database of public figures, one of the trickiest tasks when running this type of website.
Lead developer: Matthew Somerville
The site is politically non-partisan. It is part of the mySociety’s wider remit to provide online tools that help the average person to access their civic and democratic rights.
Understanding representatives’ pages
- Search the representative’s speeches for any word or phrase
- Subscribe to an email alert whenever the representative appears in parliament.
- View a snapshot of the representative’s voting record – see Statistics and Caveats, below
- View topics of interest, based on what the representative asks most questions about
- See which Public Bill Committees Sittings the representative attended
- Most recent appearances – links to debates in which the representative has spoken
- Browse statistics – see Statistics and Caveats, below
- View the register of financial interests
- Browse expenses – see Statistics and Caveats, below
- See which other posts this representative has held
- See which MPs held this constituency previously
Note that we require a citation when any data from these pages is used in an article.
Find recent debates
Recent debates are listed on this page.
Or browse the calendar.
Find debates on a specific subject
Use the search box on the debates page. See the right hand column on the results page for tips on searching more accurately or filtering your results.
When you perform a search, you will also be invited to subscribe to the word or phrase you searched for.
We can send you emails whenever a word, phrase or person is mentioned in Parliament. You can even specify who mentions your keyword. When you search the site, you will be invited to set up an email alert or subscribe to an RSS feed – see the top right hand side of the search results page.
You can also set up an alert for future business, to be informed in advance when a given topic will be debated.
Debates are updated the day after they occur, generally at around 6.30 am.
TheyWorkForYou.com takes the text from Hansard and reformats it.
Each statement within the debate has its own section and its own individual permalink, accessed from the top right of the section. Our users are also invited to leave annotations where relevant.
Statistics and caveats
We do not currently publish league tables or statistics to show, for example, which MPs speak, or vote, the most. Find out why.
Representatives’ pages list top-level voting records. See how we decide these statistics.
MPs’ expenses have not been fully updated since 2010. This is because the format in which they are published has changed, and we have not yet allocated resources to updating our code.
Make contact with the team
We are happy to participate in interviews or to answer questions about the site and its history, future, contribution to politics, etc.
However, we cannot take part in any debate which would compromise our policy of complete political neutrality. For example, we will not give opinions on MPs’ expenditure or voting records.
In the first instance, please send all press enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.