Election leaves power vacuum in MP's tech group

Who will fight IT's corner in Westminster now that Richard Allan, Brian White, and five other members of the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group are no longer MPs?

The influential All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) has been left with a power gap following the unseating of North East Milton Keynes MP Brian White in Thursday’s general election.

White, a former IT systems analyst who acted as treasurer of the group, is one of two high-profile tech-savvy MPs to leave parliament in this election. Richard Allan, former Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, announced his decision to step down from politics back in April, and has left his position as joint vice-chair of APIG.

Other APIG members fared better than White. APIG chairman Derek Wyatt scraped through the election with a paper-thin majority of 79 in his Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency. Group secretary Nick Palmer retains his Broxtowe seat, and the other joint vice chair, Michael Fabricant, has held onto his Lichfield seat.

The question now is whether APIG will continue to play a role in key technology issues such as cybercrime, online safety and the digital divide.

"The issues are there for whichever MPs wish to take them up," said Brian White, who will soon start looking for a new job.

"There are ID cards, intellectual-property rights, social inclusion and the digital society — the work will still be there but whether there will be the people ready to step up to the job remains to be seen," White added. 

White said that APIG member Ian Stuart, returning Labour candidate for Eccles, will be one name to watch. "He is not an IT person but he understands the issues," he said.

The following table shows APIG's state early on Friday afternoon.

Adam Price Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, PC Stays
Albert Owen Ynys Môn, Lab Stays
Andrew Dismore Hendon, Lab Stays
Andrew George St Ives, LDem NA*
Andrew Miller Ellesmere Port & Neston, Lab Stays
Andy Reed Loughborough, Lab/Co-op Stays
Anne Campbell Cambridge, Lab Replaced
Anne McIntosh Vale of York, Con Stays
Austin Mitchell Great Grimsby, Lab Stays
Bill O'Brien Normanton, Lab Replaced
Bill Olner Nuneaton, Lab Stays
Bill Tynan Hamilton South, Lab NA*
Bob Spink Castle Point, Con Stays
Brian Iddon Bolton South East, Lab Stays
Brian White North East Milton Keynes, Lab Unseated
Cheryl Gillian Chesham & Amersham Stays
Chris Mole Ipswich, Lab Stays
Dai Harvard Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Lab Stays
David Kidney Stafford, Lab Stays
Derek Wyatt Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Lab Stays
Martin Caton Gower, Lab Stays
Michael Fabricant Lichfield, Con Stays
Mike Gapes Ilford South, Lab/Co-op Stays
Mike Weir Angus, SNP NA*
Nick Palmer Broxtowe, Lab Stays
Nigel Evans Ribble Valley, Con Stays
Paul Flynn Newport West, Lab Stays
Peter Bottomley Worthing West, Con Stays
Richard Allan Sheffield Hallam Stepped down
Robert Smith West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine, LDem Stays
Robert Walter North Dorset, Con Stays
Rudi Vis Finchley & Golders Green, Lab Stays
Sandra Gidley Romsey, LDem Stays
Simon Thomas Ceredigion, PC Unseated
Sir George Young North West Hampshire, Con Stays
Sue Doughty Guildford, LDem Unseated
Tim Boswell Daventry, Con Stays
Tim Loughton East Worthing & Shoreham, Con Stays
Tom Harris Glasgow, Cathcart, Lab Stays
Tom Watson West Bromwich East, Lab Stays
Tony McWalter Hemel Hempstead, Lab/Co-op Unseated
Vincent Cable Twickenham, LDem Stays
* - information not available at the time of writing.