EAST Lancashire MPs are finding it tough to decide who is the area’s top tweeter.

Pendle’s Andrew Stephenson tweets most often but fellow Tory Jake Berry boasts more followers.

Despite 460 members of the House of Commons now using the social media channel, Blackburn’s Jack Straw however still refuses to use the electronic short messaging service.

Ribble Valley’s Nigel Evans is a latecomer preferring Facebook.

Following the annual Twitter awards from the Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) earlier this month, the Lancashire Telegraph conducted research into how our political representatives use the 140 character a time system.

Mr Stephenson produced most Tweets, 8,737, but Rossendale and Darwen’s Mr Berry topped the poll for most followers at 7,929.

They left Burnley Liberal Democrat Gordon Birtwistle with just 753 tweets and 2,470 followers trailing in their electronic wake.

Hyndburn and Haslingden’s Graham Jones put in a more respectable performance at 3,568 tweets and 3,361 followers.

Labour’s Mr Straw still features on Twitter with information on his Parliamentary activities extracted onto his handle.

However, the veteran politician is considering relenting in his last few months before retirement.

Mr Straw said in almost Twitterspeak: “I've not seen the need to. I'm not short of news, and I do not feel deprived by the absence of tweets. However, I might start. Not sure.”

Mr Stephenson, who came sixth in the PICTFOR ‘Local Yokel’ award list for mentioning his constituency 861 times, is clear Twitter is part of his job as an MP.

He said: “It’s a good way of communicating with constituents especially younger ones.

“I try to keep it Pendle rather than personal.”