Members of Parliament are elected to the House of Commons to represent the interests and concerns of all the people who live in their constituency, whether they voted for them at the General Election or not. They are only able to deal with issues raised by people who live in their constituency, called constituents.
To check who your MP is, please enter your postcode on the Parliament website.
MPs consider and vote on legislation and use their position to ask government ministers questions about current issues.
We split our time between working in Parliament and working in the constituency. In Parliament, I spend my time fighting for the interests of all my constituents, attending debates, scrutinising and voting on legislation, and attending meetings. I hold advice surgeries for my constituents (where they can come and talk to me about any local issues and problems), attend meetings and community events, as well as visiting local organisations and businesses across the constituency.
When a constituent writes to me, I will write to the relevant department or official or the Minister involved. Many problems are solved in this way and I always aim to respond within 10 working days although sometimes more complex cases may take slightly longer.
Alternatively, if a constituent is happy for the issue to be made public, I can ask an oral or written question, secure a debate or even petition Parliament itself.
Oral or Written Questions
Once a month each minister from each government department answer questions from MPs at the Despatch Box in the Chamber of the House. There is a limit to the number of questions that can be asked but I can also table a written question to the relevant government department, which are published in Hansard.
MPs may be able to raise a constituent’s issue in a half-hour Adjournment Debate. To get an Adjournment Debate, MPs must be successful in a ballot of Members of Parliament or have the subject chosen by the Speaker. The debates are usually the last business of the day and a government minister responds at the end of the debate.
Members of Parliament can present a petition to Parliament on behalf of their constituents. The format and wording of the petition need to be in a particular way. For more information or guidance, please contact:
Clerk of Public Petitions
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
What MPs cannot do, however, is have any jurisdiction over local Council decisions. MPs can write to on your behalf to the council and ask them to look into a problem or to reconsider an issue. In the first instance though, constituents should contact their local council or councillor directly.