Establishing how likely each of Britain’s 650 MPs would be to eat a worm

Updated whenever I’m trying to procrastinate on my book.

[Context.]

606. Derek Twigg

(Yes, I accidentally scrolled past Derek Twigg so did Karl Turner first and I didn’t want to go back into the text so now it’s all out of order but what do you want me to do about it, huh? What are you going to do about it? That’s right, nothing. You dumb nerd.)

Man, it must be rough to grow up tall and thin while called Twigg; maybe that’s why Derek joined the civil service at 16, so people could call him things like “massive dweeb” instead, just to mix it up a bit from the usual obvious nickname.

Anyway, Derek Twigg was elected in 1997 and for the past 22 years he’s just been…there, you know? Not quite one of those MPs who join one APPG on one random country every decade just to have something to talk about, he did get through a bunch of junior ministerial positions in his time, but still.

I reckon he would not eat a worm because he is a man who grew up tall and thin and called Twigg and joined the civil service at 16 and became a county councillor at 21 so he probably got bullied a fair bit back then, and bullying would no longer work on him.

While some MPs would eat a worm out of curiosity or twisted enjoyment, he is not one of them; he would only eat one because of peer pressure and I simply don’t see peer pressure working on him. Case: closed.

607. Karl Turner

God, you try to distract yourself by writing a light-hearted guide to which British MPs would eat a worm and which wouldn’t and complex political quandaries still come in to ruin your day.

Some pretty gross allegations against Karl Turner came out last year, from someone who decided to remain anonymous, he denied them, and as far as I can tell the story ended there. So, what now? What do we do with MPs who have been accused of misbehaving but they say they didn’t and their party is doing nothing and the press isn’t following up on it? We can’t unread the allegations but we can’t decide to ignore that MP’s entire existence either.

If someone would like to commission me on this, by the way, I would welcome it; it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, and I’m not sure what the answer is, and I would be keen to know what others make of it.

In the meantime, though, Karl Turner would eat a worm, I guess. God, talk about failed escapism.

608. Stephen Twigg

I never was involved in student politics while I was at university, but a lot of my friends were; I tried to avoid it as much as I could but it still invaded my personal and social life.

I don’t know if student politics always was fucking nuts, but it certainly was a few years ago when I found myself knee-deep in it. I’m guessing it was, which is why I was alarmed to find out that Stephen Twigg was heavily involved in NOLS before becoming an MP. Who in their right mind would get this involved in NOLS?

Someone who would eat a worm, that’s who. I don’t care that Stephen Twigg has been an MP for years and years, student politics is what made him and a nolsie he will always remain, and all nolsies would definitely, 100% eat a worm. Fucking weirdos, student politicians.

609. Liz Twist

I’m not going to lie to you, there is not a whole lot about Liz Twist on the internet, to the extent that I worry that if I use the words “Liz Twist” too many times in this entry, one of the main Google results for “Liz Twist” will eventually be this page, and neither Liz Twist nor I want this.

My only conclusion, then, must be that Liz Twist looks nice, and has not been in Westminster for long enough to become entirely corrupted by its inherent weirdness, and so would not eat a worm. Best of luck with everything, Liz Twist.

610. Chuka Umunna

The issue with this project is that I must be judge and jury, and there is no-one out there who can offer me guidance, put a helpful hand on my shoulder; I must walk this path alone or not walk it at all.

Besides the burden it places on my meagre shoulders, this undertaking forces me to explore the very depths of my soul, and accept that though my flaws are what makes me human, they cannot be ignored.

What I am trying to say here is, I suppose, that while I want to see Chuka Umunna eat a worm as I believe it would be fucking funny, in my heart of hearts, I do not think he would eat a worm. Let that be the end of it.

611. Ed Vaizey

Nice chap, Ed. Had the time of his life as digital culture minister, has been trying to fill the void that now exists in his heart by taking on about seventeen thousand positions now he is no longer digital culture minister. Would almost certainly eat a worm if it meant becoming digital culture minister again; not entirely sure how that would come up as a scenario but you never know, do you.

Would probably not eat a worm in other circumstances though; the worm has to be part of something bigger. A conditional worm. A digital culture worm.

612. Shailesh Vara

I am unsettled by Shailesh Vara’s smile. If you scroll past the picture he just looks like your average nice, approachable chap but the longer you look at it, the more threatening it becomes. There’s a bit of a “ah, Mr Bond” look to it.

Or, you know, in bad action movies, where we’re led to believe the villain is the obvious villain-looking person and there’s an unremarkable little man in a suit who pops up occasionally and at the last minute we find out he’s the real villain, and he was a sick son of a bitch all along. That look.

Now, I’m not saying that’s what Shailesh Vara is, merely that it’s the vibe this picture is giving me. Also, he’s a black belt in Tae Kwon Do so I believe it is not in my personal interest to call him a sick son of a bitch.

Which is to say: Shailesh Vara would not eat a worm, and I would now like to move on.

613. Keith Vaz

[The seventeen paragraphs that were originally going to be here were removed prior to publication at the request of my lawyers.]

Keith Vaz would eat a worm.

614. Valerie Vaz

I just don’t have a whole lot to say about Valerie Vaz, you know? It’s not even like she’s one of those MPs I’d never heard of — I know exactly who Valerie Vaz is, I know she’s the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons (and what a banging title by the way, “shadow leader of the house”), but I don’t have much else to say. There’s not much you can do about it, really — some politicians you instantly find charismatic, intimidating, brilliant or absolutely awful, and others just…exist. You know they’re there. You could pick them out of a line-up. You know a few facts about them. And that’s that.

I don’t think Valerie Vaz would eat a worm. And that’s also that.

615. Martin Vickers

I am sorry to say that the one and only time Martin Vickers has ever come up organically in conversation (that I can remember) was when a lobbyist I know was making a point about the pointlessless of going to party conferences when you work in public affairs, and said something along the lines of “…and really, what’s the fucking point in me chasing Martin fucking Vickers around for three days when I could just see him in Parliament”. That’s a fair point from the lobbyist, by the way, but a bit off-topic.

What is on topic, however, is the fact that I reckon Martin Vickers would eat a worm. There’s just something about him that makes me think he would. He would eat a worm. There you go.

616. Theresa Villiers

I appeared on a panel with Theresa Villiers at Conservative party conference in 2017 and afterwards she told me that I had “an uncanny ability to pinpoint the Conservatives’ problems in the most depressing way”, which I enjoyed so much as a professional compliment that I considered adding it to my CV. I realise this is technically a story about me and not about Theresa Villiers but hey, if you can’t write about yourself then how in the hell are you going to write about somebody else.

When I think of Theresa Villiers I mostly think about that Andrea Leadsom march of MPs in the summer of 2016, you know the one, the skin-crawlingly embarrassing one, headed by Tim Loughton. It was so bad. “What do we want? Leadsom for leader! When do we want it? Now!”. So bad. Anyway, a great detail in that video was Theresa Villiers, just about in shot, clearly feeling so uncomfortable that she was literally clutching her pearls while walking along.

If Theresa Villiers cannot stand by her convictions enough to do something very awkward because she committed herself to it and it is, presumably for her, for the greater good, then I do not think she would eat a worm.

617. Charles Walker

The sentence that stands out the most about Charles Walker in his Wikipedia page is this one: “In December 2013 Walker was the only MP to confirm he would accept an 11% pay increase”. To be honest, I respect that. Charles Walker has a fuck-off majority in Broxbourne, so it’s not like the constituentes of Broxbourne could really do anything about that. He wanted the payrise and he got the payrise, and five years later he is still the MP for Broxbourne.

Am I trying to make a subtle point about the pointlessness of safe seats and the need for electoral reform here? I am not. Electoral reform is honestly quite low down my list of priorities right now. I do not think Charles Walker would eat a worm.

618. Robin Walker

Ah yes, Robin Walker, or “somehow not Henry Smith”, as I like to call him. I accept that Robin Walker and Henry Smith don’t even look vaguely alike but for some reason they became one in my brain very early on and it’s now impossible to think about one without thinking about the other. Not that I think about either of them that often, but you get my point.

But anyway, back to Robin Walker, who is not Henry Smith. Doesn’t he have a friendly face? I’ve never met him so maybe it’s just pictures but he just has quite a pleasant face, you can imagine him daintily eating a biscuit at a constituency surgery while listening to an old lady talking about whatever it is old ladies talk about. He looks like he could be Quentin Blake character. He would not eat a worm.

619. Thelma Walker

Ah, Thelma Walker. The Big T. The Wild Walker. T-Walk. T to the H to the E to the L to the M to the A, and so on. I have no idea who you are. You were elected in 2017 and there’s just not a lot about you online, is there. You would not eat a worm. Probably.

620. Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace would not eat a worm. He was in the army and he’s now a Home Office minister and he has the face of a man who disagrees with the very concept of jokes. No even a hint of a worm.

621. David Warburton

The thing about politics is that there are some MPs who just look like they were born and bred in Westminster and have never truly had a life of their own, and MPs who actually do look like they could be a normal person, doing normal person things at weekend and all that.

David Warburton, for example, is your mate’s dad. There’s no way around it. He’s your mate’s dad, you know the mate who has an incredibly nice kitchen, and whose mum is really fit but also not very interesting. She laughs a lot, in her nice kitchen, but it’s quite hard to make conversation with her. Anyway, yes, David Warburton, he is your mate’s dad and he would eat a worm to freak you and your mates out, for a laugh. He would eat the worm.

622. Matt Warman

When I started reading this list, I forgot to take into account the fact that I have now been knocking around Westminster for long enough to have become pals with some MPs, and while trying to establish whether a stranger would eat a worm on a public platform somehow feels fine, it is just that bit weirder when it is someone you know in person.

So, on that note,if you are reading this, Matt — hello! it’s been a while! how are you? it really feels weird to think that we both worked at the Telegraph five years ago! five years ago feels so distant! so much has happened! 2013 is, as far as I’m concerned, as much of an old-forgotten memory as the burning of Rome! I do quite miss the bleak Telegraph canteen though!

but anyway! I think you and I both know that you would eat a worm! also thank you for talking to me for my big piece about immigration earlier this year! but mostly, you would definitely eat a worm!

623. Giles Watling

Giles Watling’s Wikipedia page is a bit of a rollercoaster. It starts off by explaining that he is an English actor and Conservative politician, which really is an unexpected combination of things to be, but then as you scroll down you start noticing that a number of his roles had titles like “gangster at airport” and “man in pub” so you start to understand why he decided to become an MP instead.

He’s not done a whole lot since arriving in Parliament, as far as I can see, which is fair enough because he has not been in Parliament for very long. All in all, though, I think he would eat a worm because his portrait has a soft bittersweet quality to it, and that is exactly the sort of person who would eat a worm.

624. Tom Watson

I feel a bit bad for Tom Watson because he has lost an incredible amount of weight since this picture was taken, and he seems very proud of it, which is fair enough, but he’s now either stuck with this picture for at least a few years, which isn’t great, or he would have to request an all-new portrait to showcase his weight loss, which would be a bit of an intense move, if you ask me.

We know that his diet involved “bullet coffee”, which involves melting butter in coffee, but there is no evidence that his diet ever involved worms, which is a shame because for once — for once — I would quite like my judgement to be based on evidence. Ah well.

(I have just noticed the barista looking at my screen as I was typing that! I know he doesn’t know what I do for a living so I assume he is now even more confused than he was when he just did not know how I earnt money, though in fairness to him no-one is paying me to do this, so.)

I reckon Tom Watson would eat a worm to prove a point, but would not just do it for fun. He’d do it out of pettiness, maybe, or to get one over someone, though I can’t imagine that being a situation likely to come up, but you never know.

625. Catherine West

Did you know that Catherine West can speak five languages fluently? I knew that. This is me bragging about me knowing that. It is very impressive.

But anyway — this portrait of Catherine West initially looks friendly and approachable but then when you spend more time looking at it you realise that there is a steeliness to it, a determination in her eyes that makes you want to never have to go up against her on anything. “I’m nice but don’t try me”, seems to be the gist of it.

As a result, it seems fairly obvious to me that Catherine West would not eat a worm. Case closed.

626. Matt Western

Life isn’t all black-and-white; this isn’t a manichean hellscape, and we spend our limited time on earth floating from one shade of grey to another, desperately hoping that we will be remembered for our better moments rather than our worsts. Most of our actions aren’t straightforwardly good or bad either; living in a way one would describe as purely good would only inflict misery upon ourselves and the ones we love. We have to live with our imperfections, and the knowledge that as long as we keep trying, we cannot be fundamentally bad.

Still, one thing that is unquestionably black-and-white is the question of whether an MP would eat a worm or not. You can’t eat half a worm, or just lick a bit of it and leave it at that. You eat the worm or you do not eat the worm.

I long for a world in which I could simply be indecisive, but rules are rules and I must obey them. I wish I could say that Matt Western would perhaps — maybe! — eat a worm, but I cannot; certainty must reign in this realm. This brings me to the only conclusion I can be drawn to, which is that Matt Western would eat a worm.

627. Helen Whateley

Some people just look friendly, don’t they? I remember seeing Helen Whateley speak at some event a few months ago and I don’t remember what she spoke about but I do remember thinking “aw, she looks really friendly”. You feel like you could go for a drink with her without knowing her well then blink and suddenly you’d be having shots and dancing to some very bad but very catchy pop music. Taking this into consideration, I must say that I think Helen Whateley would eat a worm.

628. Heather Wheeler

Snap judgement based on virtually nothing because oh my god! I really thought I knew a lot about politics but turns out I only know about maybe like half of MPs? what a realisation to have: Heather Wheeler would eat a worm.

629. Alan Whitehead

Did you know that Alan Whitehead has been an MP since 1997? I cannot overemphasise the extent to which I did not know who he was. The name? No. Face? Nope. Bits of information about his twenty-one (21!) years in Parliament? Absolutely not.

Honestly, I’m starting to think that the parliamentary team who put those portraits together just snuck in a few random white blokes in suits just to confuse all the anoraks.

So- would Alan eat a worm? Who knows. You tell us Alan, you riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Tell us your secrets, Alan. Show us who you are. Eat the worm.

630. Martin Whitfield

My man Martin was a primary school teacher before becoming a Labour MP. He specifically retrained in his thirties so he could become a primary school teacher. I bet Martin has already been tricked into eating, like, a sand sandwich or a rogue bit of Playdoh, because children are awful. Martin has seen it all and eaten it all, he is not even in the slightest bit repulsed by your worm. Boom, in one go, no chewing or anything. Next.

631. Philippa Whitford

Philippa Whitford looks quite intimidating, doesn’t she? Not in a good or bad way, just in a “ooooh, I wouldn’t mess with you” kind of way. That’s interesting, actually — in my few years in Westminster, I’ve really noticed that there are a lot of women I just Would Not Cross but very few men like that. There are rude men and shouty men and so on but not many “dear god let me never have to go up against you on anything” men, and quite a few “DRLMNHTGUAYOA” women. I’m not sure why that is.

Which is to say: I wouldn’t want to be the one asking Philippa if she would eat a worm. I still think she would eat a worm if you really wanted her to, though. Look at that portrait. She’s got kind eyes. She would eat a worm if it helped you in some way.

632. Craig Whittaker

When I do not have any significant prior knowledge of an MP’s career in Parliament, I look at their Wikipedia page in the vague hope that I can find something, a policy, a speech in a debate, a weird APPG, anything, that can help me decide whether they would eat a worm or not.

I did not know a whole lot about Craig Whittaker before about seven minutes ago and let me tell you, there’s just not a whole lot to say about someone who so far has been a PPS and an assistant whip.

Instead, what caught my eye in Craig Whittaker’s Wikipedia page is that he worked at Wilkinson then PC World before becoming an MP, two places that sound super boring to work for. He is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which I do not know anything about but I tend to be suspicious of subsets of religions with a lot of words in them.

My conclusion, then, is that Craig would not eat a worm. He would not turn it into a whole scandal or anything, he would just look at the worm and then push it back to your side of the table with a little piece of paper, and he would not make eye contact with you afterwards. He would look slightly disgusted and he would leave the room without saying anything. Just, no worm for Craig.

633. John Whittingdale

Yeeeaaaah John Whittingdale would eat a worm, absolutely no doubt there. Have you seen him? Good old Whitto. While the whole dominatrix and dating profile scandal was unfolding I saw him at the Red Lion, middle of the afternoon, having a drink with a young blonde woman. John Whittingdale does not give a fuck and I respect him for that. He would eat a worm.

634. Bill Wiggin

Boy is this list proving to be a great exercise in learning more about our lawmakers. Who are you, Bill Wiggin? What makes you tick? What keeps you up at night? Why did you one day decide to become an MP, besides the fact that your father was also an MP? In which direction do you wish this country would go? What do you make of the fact that you can now get mozzarella sticks on the Lords terrace but not on the Commons terrace which frankly really feels like an oversight from parliamentary authorities?

I think Bill Wiggin would eat a worm but I am not stating this with any enthusiasm. It is a mere cold guess.

635. Paul Williams

Paul Williams was elected in 2017 so to be completely honest, there is not a lot for me to look at, career-wise, to try and determine whether he would eat a worm or not. His portrait also makes him look like an overall nice chap but with no particular edges to him so that’s useless as well. That being said, Wikipedia tells me that Paul was a GP before becoming an MP and as a health professional he probably knows that eating a worm, fresh from the soil, might not be a great thing to do so: Paul Williams would not eat a worm. There.

636. Hywel Williams

What do you think it’s like, being a Plaid Cymru MP? I bet it’s a bit odd. You’re there, in the Commons, in the chamber, you’re doing your thing, no-one really notices you in Westminster, but you just keep going. Hywel Williams has been a Plaid Cymru MP since 2001 and I don’t think I’d ever really heard of him, but I’m just not sure he cares, you know?

He looks like the type who enjoys the quiet life, who is happy to be doing nice stufffor Wales and it is fine if no-one else notices him. He’s just out there, doing his thing. Maybe he’ll get noticed one day, but he probably won’t. It’s okay. It’s the life he’s chosen. He would eat a worm, but he would not make a big deal out of it. Here’s to you, Hywel.

637. Chris Williamson

Wow this one is upsetting. I keep trying to picture all possible scenarios in which Chris Williamson would eat a worm, or not eat a worm, and my conclusions are:

  • he would eat a worm
  • I no longer want to think about this
  • ugh

638. Gavin Williamson

I mean obviously, obviously Gavin Williamson would eat a worm. He would eat a worm to impress someone, he would eat a worm to disgust someone, he would eat a worm because there was a lull in the conversation and he didn’t know what else to do. That being said, Gavin Williamson would not eat a worm if there was no-one there to witness it, he has the eyes of an attention-seeking worm eater, and truly, if a secretary of state eats a worm and there is no-one there to see it, did he really eat a worm at all?

639. Phil Wilson

The only thing I know about Phil Wilson is that he is the MP for Sedgefield and that Tony Blair was, before him, the MP for Sedgefield so just to get it out the way now: no man has ever been more likely to eat a worm than former Prime Minister Tony Blair. You just get the sense that you’d barely have to ask. He would grin at you in this very specific Tony Blair way and he would eat a worm, and he would not break eye contact with you while doing it and you’d catch a glimpse, just for a second, of the ways in which power corrupts your soul and those who have had it will never be the same again.

But yeah, Phil Wilson — I do not think he would eat a worm. Couldn’t tell you why, just feel like it wouldn’t be his thing, you know?

640. Sammy Wilson

Sammy Wilson would definitely eat a worm! Look at that face. He would eat a worm. He would even maybe eat two worms, who’s to say. Three? No, not three. That’s too many worms. Let’s not get carried away.

641. Rosie Winterton

You might not know who Labour MP Rosie Winterton is. If you do not know who she is, you might be looking at this picture and thinking “oh, you know what? she looks nice, I bet she’d eat a worm if you asked her nicely.”

You would be wrong. Rosie Winterton — actually, it’s Dame Rose Winterton to you — was the chief whip of the Labour party from 2010 to 2016. 2010 to 2016. Do you remember what happened in those years? A lot. A lot happened and she was chief whip for all of it.

Rosie Winterton would not only not eat a worm, she would make you eat a worm and you wouldn’t be able to say anything about it. Eat the worm, pal.

642. Pete Wishart

Pete Wishart would not just eat a worm: he would eat a worm, he would chew on the worm and he would make you eat a worm as well. You’d gone into this trying to make an SNP MP eat a worm and long story short, you ended up eating a worm as well. A power move from Pete Wishart.

643. Sarah Wollaston

I met Sarah once and she was nice and authoritative in the way your friend’s intimidating mum was, and as a result I refuse to make a guess on whether she would eat a worm. Next.

644. Mike Wood

Honestly, who are all these people. I started this because I assumed that I knew who most MPs were and that I’d have at least one (1) fact to help me make a judgement re. the whole worm-eating thing but we’ve now reached Mike Wood and I am starting to realise my mistake. I mean, it’s one thing to start writing a list like this and effectively slander a number of politicians thus probably damaging my career on the long run, but it’s another to try and establish whether someone would eat a worm with any sense of authority when you do not know anything about them.

I even looked at Wikipedia and it did not give me much to go on, to be frank. Not much at all. The one thing left for me to do, then, is to focus on Mike’s official portrait, and that portrait makes me think that he would not simply eat a worm, he would enjoy it. Like, enjoy it in a slightly creepy way, if you know what I mean? He would not be repulsed by the worm. Mike, if you’re reading this: please don’t sue me, I am poor.

645. John Woodcock

John Woodcock would eat a worm, IMO. He’s left the Labour Party, he’ll probably leave Parliament at the next election, he’s got nothing left to lose, what’s one worm to eat? He’s had to deal with worse. He’d eat a worm.

646. William Wragg

Have you ever seen the face of a man more likely to eat a worm, should the circumstances demand that he does? I have not. I do not even know what constituency William Wragg is the MP for but I am thoroughly convinced that he would eat a worm. There is not a shadow of a doubt in my soul. You’ve heard of The Boy With A Thorn In His Side, this is The Boy With A Worm In His Mouth. Case closed.

647. Jeremy Wright

Do you ever find yourself staring at the face of a secretary of state, sipping on a whiskey sour, wondering if that secretary of state would eat a worm, wondering when your life became what it is and whether your parents can truly say they’re proud of you?

Anyway — the face of Jeremy Wright is inscrutable and my only Jeremy Wright fact is that he likes cricket but he is so bad at it that no-one wants to play with him, and that is not a lot to go on. I do not think that Jeremy Wright would eat a worm, based on staring at his face for two full minutes, but I am ready to be proved wrong.

648. Mohammad Yasin

I do not know who Mohammad Yasin is. Well, I now know that he is the Labour MP for Bedford and he was elected in 2017 but even that is new knowledge to me. What I know, however, is that he has a kind face and appears to have a sunny outlook on life and on that basis, I would like to think that he would eat a worm if it came down to it. He would not enjoy it, but sometimes we all have to do things we don’t enjoy, even if that thing is “eating a worm”. Good on you, Mohammad.

649. Nadhim Zahawi

Nadhim Zahawi would categorically, absolutely not eat a worm. He is a Conservative MP, he is an important, busy man and he doesn’t care what you’re on about, he will not eat this worm you have given him and as a matter of fact you are trespassing on his premises and he will call the police if you do not leave at once, worm in hand.

650. Daniel Zeichner

Look, I’m going to level with you here, I do not know an awful lot about Labour MP Daniel Zeichner. I know that his constituency is Cambridge and that he left the frontbench because he is very pro-EU and on that basis I was ready to say “ehh, would probably eat a worm? has the slightly resigned face of a man who would probably eat a worm if he felt that he had to” but then, THEN I found out that he supported Tony Benn inthe deputy leadership election in 1981, Ed Miliband in 2010, Yvette Cooper in 2015 and Owen Smith in 2016.

That political trajectory is truly wild and Daniel Zeichner is not a man whose behaviour can be predicted. The only conclusion I can reach is that he would definitely eat a worm, and he would do it with confidence, and that is that.