Influencing your MP
What can MPs do for you?
- Write to Ministers
- Write to the local authority
- Raise issues in the House of Commons or in Committee
- Vote on Parliamentary issues
- Obtain information
- Organise meetings with other MPs or groups of MPs
- Get press coverage
- Identifying and contacting your MP
You can find out who your MP is online at http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/. Alternatively, you can call the House of Commons Information Office on 020 7219 4272. If you give them your full address and postcode they will be able to give you the name of your MP.
All MPs can be contacted at the House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA or by calling 020 7219 3000.
Before approaching your MP, make sure you are clear about the facts, what action you want them to take, and indeed that they are the appropriate person to make this happen. Always be clear and concise and, if possible, illustrate your case with personal and real examples. If you have arranged to meet your MP in a group, make sure you know in advance who will speak on what. You can meet your MP either in your constituency, or at the House of Commons.
If you don’t know when your MP’s advice surgery is, then look online, in your local paper, or ask at your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) . Some MPs operate an appointment system but it is advisable to write to your MP in advance to give notice of the issues you would like to discuss with him / her.
Visiting the House of Commons
Every constituent has the right to go to the House of Commons and lobby his or her MP. If your MP is there, they should come to the Central Lobby to meet you in response to your filling in a ‘Green Card’ (a request to meet with your MP). However, it is advisable to give your MP notice that you want to visit and arrange a convenient time, otherwise they may be away or unavailable. Giving your MP prior warning is well worth the trouble, as their work often takes them out of the House of Commons.