Breakdown of MPs' staff by gender


Information Required:

A gender breakdown (Male/Female/Other) for the different roles within MP offices (numbers and percentages). Examples include, Caseworker, Senior Caseworker, Parliamentary Assistant, Senior Parliamentary Assistant, Secretary, Senior Secretary, Office Manager, Chief of Staff.

Could this be broken down for the different political parties in parliament also?


By way of background, IPSA is responsible for paying the salaries of MPs’ staff, the costs of which are paid through each MP’s Staffing Expenditure budget, under the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’). As such, we hold information on each staff member employed by MPs and paid through IPSA’s payroll, including the staff member’s gender.

Please find attached the requested information.

Please note that jobs have been grouped according to the IPSA’s defined job families. Further information on these job groupings and their annual salary ranges is available here.

We have also amalgamated MP staffing figures for the smaller parties as well as Independents into the ‘other’ group. We believe this information to be exempt under s.40 FOIA (Personal Information). Further information is available below.


Section 40

Information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person is ‘personal data’, as defined by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Section 40(2) of the FOIA provides that personal information is exempt information if:

(a) it constitutes personal data; and

(b) the condition set out in s. 40(3A)(a) of FOIA is satisfied, namely that disclosure to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles in the GDPR.

Because the MPs in question are identifiable or likely to be identifiable, or because of the very low staffing figures in individual job family groups, we believe that the likelihood exists that MPs’ staff members may be identified either from this information alone, or in combination with other available information.

In our view (a) is therefore satisfied because the information sought by you relates to an identifiable, living individual, and (b) is also satisfied because disclosure would breach the first data protection principle in Article 5(1) (a) of the GDPR, which requires that personal information is processed fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner; processing includes disclosure. In relation to fairness, IPSA is required to process personal data in a manner in which people, including MPs and their staff, would reasonably expect.

The exemption from the duty to disclose personal data where to do so would breach one of the general data protection principles is an absolute exemption so the public interest test does not apply.

19 March 2019
Exemptions Applied:
Section 40