What can an MP do?

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.

MPs consider and vote on legislation and use their position to ask government ministers questions about current issues.

They split their time between working in Parliament and working in the constituency. In Parliament, MPs spend their time fighting for the interests of their constituents, attending debates, scrutinising and voting on legislation, and attending meetings. In the constituency, MPs hold advice surgeries for their constituents to come and talk to them about local issues and problems, attend meetings and community events, as well as visiting local organisations and businesses.

Members of Parliament are able to help with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible. 

Key departments within the Government are as follows:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-ene… Tel: 020 7215 5000

Ministry of Defence http://www.mod.uk/ Tel: 020 7218 9000

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-digital-cult… Tel: 020 7211 6000

Department for Education https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education Tel: 0370 000 2288

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-… Tel: 08459 33 55 77

Department for Exiting the European Union https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-exiting-the-…  

Foreign and Commonwealth Office https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office  Tel: 020 7008 1500

Department of Health and Social Care https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-so… Tel: 020 7210 4850

Home Office https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office Tel: 020 7035 4848

Department for International Development https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-internationa… Tel: 020 7023 0000

Department for International Trade https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-internationa… Tel: 020 7215 5000

Ministry of Justice https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice Tel: 020 3334 3555

Department for Transport https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport Tel: 0300 330 3000

HM Treasury https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-treasury Tel: 020 7270 5000

Department for Work and Pensions https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions Tel: 0207 340 4115

 

When a constituent writes to their MP, they will write to the relevant department or official or the Minister involved. Many problems are solved in this way.

Alternatively, if a constituent is happy for the issue to be made public, an MP can ask an oral or written question, secure a debate or petition Parliament.

Oral or written questions

Once a month each minister from each government department answer questions from MPs at the Dispatch Box. There is a limit to the number of questions that can be asked. MPs can also table a written question to the relevant Government department, which are published in Hansard. http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/

Adjournment Debate

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.

Petition

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 Journal Office House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/have-your-say/petitioning/public-…

MPs do not have any jurisdiction over local Council decisions. However, they can write to a local Council and ask them to look into a problem or to reconsider an issue. In the first instance, constituents should contact their local Council or Councillor.