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Friday, November 9, 2007

Plaid Cymru MP scoops web award

Adam Price MP's website
Mr Price's website was praised as an 'outstanding example'.

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price has won the British Computer Society's best MP website award.

His site, which can be used by both English and Welsh speakers, was considered "an outstanding example" of design, engagement and accessibility.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson's website won the accessibility award. Labour's Paul Flynn's won for design and colleague Derek Wyatt's for engagement.

Judging was by BCS' president Nigel Shadbolt and key political journalists.

MPs, whose websites were highly commended, were: Tory Nadine Dorries, Conservative mayoral candidate Boris Johnson, and Independent anti-war MP George Galloway.

Some of the worst comments were: 'Is he more interested in himself or his voters?', 'Wouldn't vote for him', 'Which party does this woman belong to?'
Nigel Shadbolt
British Computer Society

The judges marked MPs on sites that engaged with constituents and presented the world in politics, particularly to young people, "in an exciting and dynamic manner".

Professor Shadbolt said standards "varied enormously", with the best combining "excellent content with newest forms of media, such as video and blogging in a bid to get up-to-date, relevant information" out to their constituents.

"Some of the worst comments were: 'Is he more interested in himself or his voters?', 'Wouldn't vote for him', 'Which party does this woman belong to?' and 'Self-promoting as usual'."

Professor Shadbolt said he was particularly concerned that a large number of MP websites had not been shortlisted because they had failed the accessibility test.

"This means that the large minority of the population with various disabilities would be unable to properly access these sites," he said.

"And this last category, particularly with an ageing and increasingly IT-reliant society, they ignore at their political peril."

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