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|