Frequently Asked Questions: MPs

NB: Following the General Election on 12 December 2019, this page is being updated as information is confirmed by the House of Commons Library

At the 2019 General Election, 650 MPs were elected. 

Up to date information is shown on the State of the Parties page at the link below:

As a result of the 2019 General Election there are 430 male MPs.

At the close of the 2017-19 Parliament there were 437 male MPs.

After the 2019 General Election there are 220 female MPs

At the close of the 2017-19 Parliament there were 211 female MPs.

Countess Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the House of Commons, in 1918. However, as a member of Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat. The first woman to be elected and to take her seat was Viscountess Nancy Astor in 1919.

Margaret Bondfield - appointed Under Secretary in the Ministry of Labour in 1924.

The Speaker of the House of Commons is Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP.

After the 2019 General Election, the Father of the House (the MP with the longest unbroken service) is Sir Peter Bottomley MP.

The oldest MP in the 2017-19 Parliament was Dennis Skinner, then Labour MP for Bolsover, aged 85 when re-elected in June 2017.

The youngest MP elected after the 2019 general election is Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, aged 23 on polling day, 12 December 2019.

The youngest MP in the 2017-19 Parliament was Mhairi Black, Scottish National Party MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, aged 22 when re-elected in June 2017.

The average age of MPs elected at the 2017 General Election was 50.

Charles Pelham Villiers served continuously for 63 years, 6 days. Sir Winston Churchill served for 63 years, 10 months in total but this was not unbroken service.

There is no official data on the ethnic background of MPs. However, independent sources report that following the 2017 election there were 52 non-white MPs, 8% of the total.

MPs do not have to live in their constituency. In fact, there is no residency qualification at all - an MP could even live outside the UK. There are, however, nationality and age qualifications and a number of other disqualifications for MPs.

For more details contact the Electoral Commission

1911. The first annual salary was £400.

£79,468 from 1 April 2019. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) are responsible for setting the level of MPs' pay.

Yes. MPs pay the same rates of taxation and National Insurance as any other employed person.

Yes. MPs can claim expenses to cover, for example, staff costs, travel expenses and the cost of running an office. Expenses for MPs are regulated and administered by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA)

Current figures are given on the Cabinet Office website.

Current figures are given on the Cabinet Office website.

Current figures are given on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) website.

Current figures are given in the following research briefing:

Opposition parties get extra money to help them carry out their parliamentary business. This is known as 'Short Money'.

Yes they do - details of the scheme are given on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) website.

Contact the House of Commons Enquiry Service

The House of Commons Enquiry Service provides information on the work, history and membership of the House of Commons.

  • Telephone: 0800 112 4272 (Freephone) or 020 7219 4272
  • Email:
  • Text relay:  Dial 18001 followed by our full number

Our telephone enquiry service is open between 10am-12 midday and 2pm-4pm (Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays).


The House of Commons Enquiry Service produces a series of free publications which you can read online, or contact us to request copies.

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