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19 January 2023

Tory MP Lee Anderson has the seventh-highest staff turnover in parliament

The representative for Ashfield, who tweeted about his staffer earning “less than 30k”, is in the top ten for biggest office churn among MPs.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Lee Anderson, the Conservative MP for Ashfield, has caused controversy by tweeting about one of his office employees. Alongside a photo of his staffer, Katy, he highlighted that she “earns less than 30k”, detailed her housing and commuting costs and student debt, concluding she “does not need to use a foodbank… Katy makes my point really well.”


The tweet is a glimpse into the rather austere reality of working as a parliamentary staffer in Westminster: salaries are generally quite low, and many are trying to survive the London rental market. Some Twitter users have suggested Katy ought to be paid more than £30,000.

The New Statesman can reveal that Lee Anderson has the seventh-highest staff turnover rate of all MPs.

MPs lose and gain staffers all the time for different reasons, as their roles are often changing. Yet controlling for MP job changes (going in and out of government or the shadow cabinet, for example) and office reductions, our analysis of public data on MPs’ staff from February 2017 to August 2022 reveals that Anderson is in the top ten of all 650 MPs. Anderson has been contacted for comment.

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MPs with the highest rate of staff turnover from February 2017-August 2022 (accounting for job changes and office reductions):

1. Claudia Webbe
2. Katherine Fletcher
3. Louie French
4. Neil Hudson
5. Chi Onwurah
6. Chris Loder
7. Lee Anderson
8. Catherine McKinnell
9. Sarah Champion
10. Luke Pollard
11. Seema Malhotra

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12. Johnny Mercer
13. Layla Moran
14. Kate Hollern
15. Ben Bradshaw
16. Ranil Jayawardena
17. Jesse Norman
18. Michelle Gildernew
19. Sarah Olney
20. Selaine Saxby

A note on the data

This data, put together by Michael Goodier, formerly of the New Statesman data journalism team, has not been published before. It is from the register of interests of MPs’ secretaries and research assistants, from February 2017-August 2022. Jobs and office sizes may have changed since this window.

[See also: Rishi Sunak faces a new Tory revolt over levelling up favouritism]